Saturday, May 13, 2017


12th May 2017


Shri Anil Madhav Dave,
Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change,
Government of India.

Dear Sir,


Namaskar. We are representatives of farmer unions from around India, and associated with our Unions are lakhs of farmers in different states of the country. We are deeply dismayed and disappointed with the decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to recommend genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) mustard developed by the Delhi University for commercial cultivation. We understand that the decision with regard to approval or rejection will now be taken by you.

We urge you to reject this application in toto and not approve this GM HT mustard which has no utility for farmers and is in fact against our economic interests. This GM mustard engineered with herbicide tolerance trait will only benefit the large agro-chemical corporations like Bayer, which are seeking to expand markets for their poisonous chemicals (glufosinate herbicide in this case), and lock us into the package of external seed supply with associated pesticides.

This is a GMO which is meant to help seed manufacturing companies and not farmers. We already have choice of seed varieties and hybrids in the market. We do not need this risky technology to be deployed in our farms and risk contaminating our other seeds. This GM mustard will also jeopardise organic farming and leave farmers with very little choice in reality.

The reason being cited for introducing this crop is better oilseed production through higher yields. In reality, this GM mustard yields lower than many recent, popular hybrids and varieties. The testing has been rigged to have favourable results for this unsafe GMO. Some of us who participated in a special GEAC meeting have found that the regulators are biased, unscientific and even lack integrity required.

Here, we would like to point out that oil seed production has taken a hit due to bad pricing/procurement support from the government, and inappropriate anti-farmer import policies adopted by the government. It is not because we are unable to produce enough or do not have the seeds or know how. If the pricing, procurement and import policies are made farmer friendly we assure you that we can produce all the mustard and other oil seeds the country needs.

In addition to the various issues with this GM mustard, it should be noted that the extensive cultivation of this can be devastating for the environment. It is engineered to be tolerant to a herbicide glufosinate which is not even approved for use in mustard crop. The result of approving this crop will be the rampant use of this herbicide, increased chemicalisation of our farms, affecting our own health and creating health and ecological problems in rural India. We would also like to remind you that your party had made a promised to all of us in your election manifesto and it now falls on you to keep that promise. The regulatory clearance certainly goes against the commitment made in the BJP manifesto.

In view of the fact that this GM mustard has no benefits for farmers and is potentially harmful, we ask you to outright reject this application for approval for commercial cultivation. This GM mustard deserves the same fate as the GM mustard application considered for commercialisation in 2002, and Bt brinjal in 2009-10 in India. We oppose it and we request you to reject the application.

Endorsed By:

Com Hannan Mollah,
General Secretary,
All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane)

Yudhvir Singh,
General Secretary,
All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM)

Mohinimohan Misra, National Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS),

Yogendra Yadav,
Jai Kissan Andolan

Prashant Bhushan
Swaraj Abhiyan

Raghav Sharan Sharma, Chairman,
All India Agragami Kissan Sabha (AIAKS)
Ch. Rakesh Tikait,
National Spokesman,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU)

Avik Saha
National Convenor
Jai Kisan Andolan

Chamarasa Malli Patil,
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)

K. Sella Mutthu,
 Nadu Farmers Association

Ajmer Singh Lakhowal,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Punjab

S. Malla Reddy,
Vice President,
All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane)
Narhari Mahato,
Former Member Lok Sabha,
General Secretary,
All India Agragami Kissan Sabha (AIAKS)
Chukki Najundawamy,
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS)

Vijay Jawandhia,
Shetkari Sangathana,

KT Gangadhar,
South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)

Badribhai Joshi,
Khedut Samaj,

Maganbhai Patel, President,
Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Gujarat

Ms. Rajariga,
President, Women Wing,
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association

Gurman Singh,
Bhartiya Kissan Union, Haryana

S. Kannaiyan,
South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (SICCFM)
KS Puttanaiah (MLA),
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS),

Jagdish Singh,
State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Madhya Pradesh

Vidyadhar Olkha,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Rajasthan

Subhash Naskar
General Secretary
All India Samyukta Kisan Sabha

Vettavalam K. ManiKandan,
State President, 
Thamizaga Vivasaayikal Sangam, 
Indhiya Uzavar Uzaippaligal Katchi

Mr. Charan
Cauvery Delta Farmers Association

Mr. Rathinasamy,
Thamizjaga Vivasayeegal Sangam, Erode

Ratan Singh Mann,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),
Sukhdev Singh Gill,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),
Himachal Pradesh

Satnam Singh Cheema,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttrakhand

Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi,
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association

Kodihalli Chandrasekhar
Virendra Dagar,
State President
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU),
Delhi Rural
Virendra Kumar Shrivastava,
Laghu Simant Krishak Morcha, Uttar Pradesh

Sagar Rabari,
Khedut Samaj,

Baburam Sharma,
All India Krantikari Kissan Sabha

Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation

Saroj Mohanty,
Paschim Odisha Krushak Samanvay Samiti

K.P Illias,
Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithi,

Kiran Vissa,
Raithu Swarajya Vedika,

Tamilnadu Vanigar Peravai, Chennai

Iykkiya Vivasayegal Sangam, Thalaivasal
Attur Salem Dist

Keel Bhavani Vivasaueegal Sangam

Sundara Vimalanathan
Cauvery Nathi Farmers Protection Association, Thajavur

P. R. Pandiyan,
Tamilnadu All farmers Organisation and Associations Committees, Tanjavur

Tamilnadu Vivasayeegal Sangam, Chennai

Mihir Paul,
Secretariat member
All India Samyukta Kisan Sabha

Dr. Sunilam
KIsan Sangharash Samiti, Madhya Pradesh

Rajesh Singh Chouhan,
State President,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttar Pradesh

M.S. Selvaraj, Vivasaigal Thoilarlagal Munnetra Sangam (VTMS)

Dhan Singh Sherawat,
Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Maharashtra

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