Coimbatore, Feb 23: Environmentalists and members of various farmers' associations, under the banner 'Tamil Nadu Farmers Protection Group', have demanded that the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) stop cultivating BT varieties as part of their research programme, at the campus.
Over 100 people assembled in front of the university campus yesterday as part of an agitation, led by Erode District Organic Farming Association Secretary Selvam. Later, talking to newspersons, Mr Selvam said TNAU was engaged in various research programmes on genetically modified crops by collaborating with private seed manufacturer Monsonto. The MNC had never come forward to disclose the danger and environmental problems posed by the cultivation of these varieties, he alleged.
''Instead of protecting the state farmers, the university is working as an agent to multi-national companies,'' he alleged.
They had never done any research on organic farming, he added.
TNAU Vice Chancellor C Ramasamy, reacting to the agitation, told newspersons that the farmers were getting more yield through the cultivation on BT varieties and there was no danger to the environment or soil by its cultivation. He said he was ready to clarify the doubts of the farmers in this regard.