Greenpeace crop circles appear across the country, sound alarm against GM food invasion

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Press release - June 7, 2013
New Delhi: June 7, 2013: Greenpeace sent out a strong message on Friday, saying "NO TO GM, YES TO FOOD SAFETY" by creating a giant crop circle in Najafgarh, near Delhi.

For the first time, crops circles have been created in India. Recently, similar crop circles were formed in Ahmedabad and Bangalore by Greenpeace Volunteers who came from various corners of the country to generate public awareness against the 'imminent invasion of GM crops in India.'

"Safe food is my right and GM crops are the biggest threat to it" said Pranay Jasodia, Actuarial Science student of Utpal Sanghvi college in Mumbai, who has joined hands with 20 others to make these intricate crop circles.

The design which was 150X180 Feet in size featured a slash over 'GE', as a mark of protest against the government's decision to introduce the controversial Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill, which provides for a single window easy approval mechanism to controversial GM crops.

According to Neha Saigal, sustainable agriculture campaigner at the Greenpeace, India, GM crops were being pushed in India to benefit multinational biotech giants like Monsanto.

"Through the BRAI Bill, which can also be called India's Monsanto Promotion and Protection Bill, the Government is paving a way for the biotech corporations like Monsanto to take control of our food and farming by providing a single window approval mechanism to GM crops." said Neha.

"While Monsanto's influence within the US Government is more than apparent, the same is now being ensured by the Indian government here through the BRAI Bill," added Neha.

Eleven years of Bt cotton cultivation in India show the monopoly of the Indian cotton seed sector by Monsanto through its proprietary Bt cotton. Taking advantage of the Monopoly Monsanto has dragged state governments into court to increase their royalty and profits.(1)

The BRAI bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha April this year, has been sent to the Standing Committee of Science and Technology, Environment and Forests. The committee headed by Congress Member of Rajya Sabha, T Subbarami Reddy, has been asked to submit its report within three months.

Keeping in mind the United Nations' theme for this World Environment Day, which is to Think Save and Eat, Greenpeace demands the Government of India should not to hand over our food security and sovereignty to multinationals like Monsanto and withdraw the BRAI Bill and instead bring in a Biosafety Protection Regime.

Notes to the Editor:-

http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/docs/BRAI-Monsanto-briefing.pdf

http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/report/BRAI-Critique-Report.pdf

For More info:

Neha Saigal, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India: : +91-7760968772

Rajesh Krishnan, Sr Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India: : +91-9845650032

Media Contacts:

Shuchita Mehta, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: : +91-9560990606

Debanjana Choudhuri, Sr Media Officer, Greenpeace India: : +91-9560990808

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