People from various walks of life, including physicians, human rights activists and farmers, came together here on Tuesday to register their protest against the introduction of Bt brinjal by launching a short film Kathireekaaa.

Performing artists such as Chitra Visweswaran, Priyadarshini Govind, T.M. Krishna, Vijay Siva and Chitravina N. Ravikiran addressed the gathering.

The focus of the network, Safe Food Alliance (SFA), is to raise awareness and express the concerns of farmers and consumers on the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) food.

Union Minister for Environment Jairam Ramesh has announced that a final decision on giving approval for Bt brinjal will be taken on February 20 after a series of consultations in seven cities.

An open discussion on GM food followed the screening of the 24-minute documentary which features film directors Vasanth and Cheran; actors Revathy and Rohini; writer Gnani; academician Sultan Ismail Ahmed; and farmer Nammalwar. Pointing out that many western countries have banned GM food, V. Suresh of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said: “The Tamil Nadu government must take note of at least what some other States have done. Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and a few other States have already rejected the introduction of Bt brinjal.”

Singer T.M. Krishna said while manipulating nature in the name of productivity and profit, the impact must be fully understood before taking any decision.

Director Vasanth said a series of film screenings and events will be organised over the next two weeks culminating on January 30 with a consumer event to save food from genetic contamination.

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