An organic food mela — with ‘grow your food’ as the theme — will be organised at Dilli Haat here on Sunday to promote chemical-free farming and safe foods.

The campaign for toxic-free food reached Delhi on Saturday after rallies and marches through parts of the country.

An organic food mela — with ‘grow your food’ as the theme — will be organised at Dilli Haat here on Sunday to promote chemical-free farming and safe foods.

Toxicity in food is a growing concern among consumers in response to which several activists have come together to launch a campaign against the negative impact of chemical farming. They are advocating a conscious shift towards ecological farming through their ‘India for Safe Food’ campaign.

Says campaign convenor Kavitha Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture: “Of the top 15 most-consumed pesticides in India, 11 figure in the list of 67 globally-banned pesticides put out by the Indian government,”

“The government must invest in ecological farming, ensure access to organic food by establishing safe food outlets, provide safe foods under various schemes to pregnant and lactating women and children and ban pesticides with chronic adverse impacts that have been banned in other countries,” she added.

After a successful Safe Food Mela in Chennai on Sunday, the Campaign organised a public march on July 27 to press for chemical-free farming in Bhatinda in Punjab, the cotton belt that has seen farmer suicides.

“More than getting markets for organic farmers, our focus is on making Punjab toxicity and pesticide-free,” Bhatinda-based Umendra Dutt of Kheti Virasat told The Hindu.

“Studies indicate that in India, vegetables, fruits, staple cereals and pulses, meat, milk, eggs and poultry, in addition to drinking water and processed foods/beverages, are contaminated with poisonous residues in various degrees. Our export consignments are known to have been rejected for their toxic residues. There are fundamental ways in which the issue has to be addressed — by changes in our technological approach to agriculture as well as in our regulatory mechanisms,” pointed out Hyderabad-based activist G.V. Ramanjaneyulu.

The nation-wide mobilisation campaign will have a public outreach mainly through online mobilisation using the website (indiaforsafefood.in), missed calls action (022-3301 0031) and cyber-action through e-mails.

More In: Delhi