Staff Reporter

It has accused genetic engineering companies of violating bio-safety norms

Greenpeace India conducts probe into field trials in Haveri district Companies accused of encouraging farmers to sell untested products in the market Government urged to conduct an inquiry into violation of bio-safety norms

BANGALORE: Alleging gross violation of bio-safety norms by genetic engineering companies, Greenpeace India, a non-governmental organisation working for the conservation of environment, has demanded that field trials of Bollgard II be cancelled in the country.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee and the Department of Biotechnology have permitted 1,600 trials of Bollgard II, which is the stacked gene technology of Mahyco-Monsanto for genetically modified (GM) cotton, in kharif 2005. Making a presentation of the findings from its investigation on the state of field trials in four villages of Haveri district, Divya Raghunandan from Greenpeace said the companies conducting such trials are flouting various bio-safety norms applicable to GM crop trials.

The companies are also encouraging farmers to sell untested products in the market, she alleged.

Investigation

The investigation was carried out last month by representatives of Greenpeace and the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, and members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

A brief report and a film based on visits to field trial plots were released on Wednesday.

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