New Delhi, May 6 : Farmers from different parts of the country on Tuesday demonstrated at the Jantar Mantar on Parliament street over the use of genetically modified crops in the country.
Organised by Coalition for a GM-free India, the protesting farmers demanded that the genetically modified technology should be banned in the country, as it was against the Indian farmers' interest.
Protestors said that with the spread of genetically modified (GM) crops, farmers' rights could be seized in the name of the Intellectual Property Rights and patents.
"This technology is against the interests of the peasants of the country. Farmers' rights would be snatched from them in the name of the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and patent rights. Moreover, this technology causes adverse impact on the health and environment. Therefore, this technology should not be practiced in the country," said Kavitha Kuruganti of Coalition for a GM-free India.
The protestors included leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
"Bt (Cotton) is poison and this has been spreading fast in our farms. People till recently used manures and other methods for a good harvest and led a healthy life. Bt brinjal is the first GM (genetically modified) food crop, which will be approved for a second and final season trial before commercialization," said Ram Singh Solanki, a leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
As per the Cotton Advisory Board, India's GM cotton area is estimated at 6.33 million hectares or 66 per cent of the total cotton area in 2007- 08 that is up from 3.69 million hectares in 2006-07.
The government of India allowed commercial cultivation of Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt cotton, the country's first GM crop in 2002.