DEVINDER SHARMA comment: Things are hotting up in India. With one of the major political constituents of the Tamil Nadu government -- PMK -- openly coming out against GM crops, I think it will have a significant impact on public policy.
I returned a day before from Mangalore in Karnataka. I addressed a massive crowd of farmers, women and dalits somewhere near Mangalore. Some 30,000 plus people came to listen.
PMK opposes use of genetically modified seeds
Chennai online, March 2 2007 http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7B99A291F5-C36F-4CC5-89F5-8143BC5FF82C%7D&CATEGORYNAME=CHN
Chennai, March 02: The PMK, an ally of the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, on Friday urged the government to ensure that Genetically Modified(GM) seeds were not used in the state and asked the farmers to resist moves to put them in use.
Inaugurating an awareness yatra against GM seeds, organised by 'Pasumai Thayagam', an environment protection organisation here, PMK founder Ramadoss said "Farmers should fight against moves to make use of genetically modified seeds sold by multinational companies".
He assured his full support to the campaign against the "artificial seeds" and said the nation's natural wealth should be protected. He alleged that "self-seeking" scientists, bureaucrats and politicians were promoting "such dangerous" farm inputs.
Ramadoss said his party was against take over of farmers' land for any purpose, including creation of Special Economic Zones, and urged farmers also to oppose such moves.
The lands of some farmers of Tamil Nadu who had used gm seeds, have been "affected", he said without giving further clarification. He appealed to the state government to provide compensation for them.
State Agriculture Minister S Arumugham, in a recent address to the Assembly, had said the decision on whether to use GM seeds or not depended upon the opinion of scientists.
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