Wednesday, December 16, 2009
GM-Free Bihar Movement has charged the Union Environment and Forest Minister
GM-Free Bihar Movement has charged the Union Environment and Forest Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh with having a bias towards Bihar and being choosy in selecting venues for national consultancy in the run-up to taking the final decision on commercial use of Bt-brinjal crop.
“Bihar is an agriculture-based state with a large number of farmers and consumers being important stakeholders in any decision related to approving or disapproving the sale of the genetically modified brinjal. But, the minister has deliberately ignored Bihar in fixing a venue in the state for consultations with different walks of society,” the Movement said in a press release.
The minister had earlier announced that a national-level consultancy will be launched before the final call is made to decide the issue, after a government-appointed committee approved in October this year the commercial use of BT-Brinjal in the country.
“But the information received from the ministry reveal that only seven places (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubneswar, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Nagpur and West Bengal) have been identified by the Environment Ministry for conducting the consultancy and Bihar does not figure in that list, which shows deliberate act on the part of the Union Minister to ignore Bihar,” the release said.
Pankaj Bhushan of the GM-Free Bihar Movement said hundreds of thousands of farmers and farmer organizations from Bihar had been sending mails and faxes to the Union Ministry against BT-Brinjal which should have been the reason enough for the Union Environment Ministry for consulting the people of Bihar on such an important issue.
“This is total denial of giving proper opportunity to people from Bihar to have their say,” he said, adding his organization will oppose tooth and nail any decision which adversely affected farmers and consumers of Bihar.