Tamil Nadu farmers protest against field trials of BT corn

April 2nd, 2009 - 9:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Coimbatore, Apr 2 (ANI): Over 150 protestors were arrested here today as they blocked the roads and rallied in front of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, demanding the university to stop genetically modified corn field trials.

According to farmers, the introduction of advanced BT corn in the state would affect them in the long run.

Explaining the ill effects of the BT corn, S Vellaiyan, President, Federation of Tamil Nadu Traders Association, said, “The introduction of BT Corn will spoil the natural farming practices of the farming community in Tamil Nadu.”

“The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is now in the process of conducting field trials for an American private company called Monsanto. If this genetically modified BT Corn is introduced then the food habits and system will change and if it is consumed it will lead to serious health implications,” he said.

“The women will suffer from infertility and we will have to depend upon America for seeds. This will affect the farmers and the traders who depend on agriculture products. Safe food alliance and Tamil Nadu Traders Association has taken this initiative to stop such field trials in India,” added Vellaiyan.

The activists from Green peace and Safe Food Alliance also joined the protesting farmers, and shouted slogans against the university for supporting MNCs like Montaso.

Stella, a Green peace activist said that BT corn would have serious health implications, which were proved by research.

“We came to know that the University is having a field trial secretly for BT corn. It’s a genetically modified corn and researches have shown that it has serious health implications, which leads to hyper allergies and organ damage. A number of organisations under safe food alliance had requested the university to destroy this field trail,” said Stella.

BT corn is a variant of maize, genetically altered to express the bacterial BT toxin, which is poisonous to insect pests. In the case of corn, the pest is the European corn borer. (ANI)

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