Farmers demand ban on GM crops

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Hyderabad, Apr 8 (UNI) Leaders of all major farmers' organisations in the state today demanded the Andhra Pradesh government to take a clear stand opposing the GM crops and ban its trials in the state as in Kerala and Orissa.

Addressing an 'anti-GM protest' meet here, All India Kisan Sabha Vice President Sarampalli Mallareddy said, ''when the first trials of Bt Cotton began in the state and the country, the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh passed a resolution against any GM crops and their trials in the state. Any cultivation or trial in the state of such crops is therefore illegal.'' He also urged that the state government to ban any such trials in the state.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh President Raghava Reddy claimed that the state government's policies were allowing MNCs like Monsanto total control over our agriculture.

''When chemical pesticides were brought in, we were told that no harm will come out of them whereas the reality today was different.'' Pointing out that any technology that helps to improve the environment, economy and health of the citizens was welcome, the state 'Rythu Sangam' President Samineni Ramarao, however, said GE crops increased the cost of production and had ill effects on health. '' MNCs are making profits out of this'', he alleged.

''We want sustainable agriculture practices,'' he added.

The protest meet was organised by the Coalition for a GM-free Andhra Pradesh, a network of civil society organisations and farmers' groups.


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