Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated farmers’ body, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), on Wednesday (June 14) wrote a letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, demanding immediately the withdrawal of the permission given by the Haryana government for any kind of testing and cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) crops.
Mohini Mohan Mishra, national general secretary, BKS said that the farmers’ body was totally against the permission given by the Government of Haryana for testing and cultivation of GM crops, especially herbicide tolerant crops whose trial was allowed in the State.
“While seeing the side effects of these crops, the governments of Telangana-Maharashtra and Gujarat refused to give permission,” Mr. Mishra said.
“GM Crop technology is going to harm the farmer and agriculture sector as well as the environment”Mohini Mohan MishraNational general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh
The BKS office-bearer added that the GM crop was unscientific and a failed technique, and the same was also believed by the Environment Ministry which had in the past, said that such crops caused cancer.
“This crop is a big threat to bio-diversity. GM Crop technology is going to harm the farmer and agriculture sector as well as the environment. GM crop is a handiwork of anti-national elements. How can the farmer-friendly Haryana government allow such crops,” questioned Mr. Mishra.
Rebuffed new proposal
To mention, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana have rebuffed a proposal, approved by the Centre’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), to test a new kind of transgenic cotton seed. The seed in question was developed by Hyderabad-based Bioseed Research India and contains a gene, cry2Ai, that purportedly makes cotton resistant to pink bollworm, a major pest. The seed has passed preliminary, confined trials and was recommended by the GEAC to be tested in the farmers’ fields at Janwada, Telangana; Jalna, Maharashtra; Akola, Maharashtra; Junagadh, Gujarat; and Barwala-Hisar, Haryana.
The BKS, several times since the past, has critisised the government’s attempts to promote GM crops. In its letter to the Centre last year, it had alleged that the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the Delhi University and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) were working hand-in-glove in matters pertaining to Genetic Modification in food crops.