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Apr 3, 2009

Protest at TNAU

More than 70 activists of various farmers’ associations were removed by the police when they attempted to stage a demonstration at the trial field of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University where genetically modified crops were being cultivated.The protestors, led by Tamil Nadu Traders’ Association president Vellaiyan, were arrested for staging a protest against the field trial of genetically modified corn plant inside the varsity premises.

The protestors from various movements under the Safe Food Alliance had come together to demand immediate destruction of the field where trial of BT corn, a hazardous GM food crop developed by a multinational company, was being carried out.

The firm was carrying on the field trial in secrecy for last three months. These crops were risky and could cause serious health hazards. Studies had predicted that the long-term consumption of such food could lead to serious reproductive problems and eventually infertility.

These crops are also unanimously opposed by all farmers across India as they could contaminate the agri biodiversity developed over thousands of years while increasing corporate control over seed, impairing soil fertility and end the rights of farmers over seed.

Before being removed by police, Mr. Vellaiyan said “we are tired of the strategy of silent destruction.”The university had sacrificed its commitment to the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu. In March, Safe Food Alliance had organised a rally against the continued allegiance of the university to the multinational company.

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