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Posted at: Jun 26, 2017, 2:44 AM; last updated: Jun 26, 2017, 2:44 AM (IST)

Protest held against genetically modified mustard crop

Protest held against genetically modified mustard crop
A protest being held against genetically modified mustard crop in Jalandhar on Sunday. A Tribune Photograph

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 25

City residents this morning witnessed a different kind of an awareness rally against the genetically modified (GM) sarson, where activists of various NGOs, along with the Kheti Virasat Mission, told people about “ill-effects” of GM crops and also made them sign postal cards that will be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Various NGOs, along with farmers in Punjab, have opposed the move of the genetic engineering appraisal committee (GEAC) clearing the proposal for the GM mustard, and many discussions over the GM issue have been held on the social media.

In the morning, nearly 60 persons signed the cards, said Lipika Kochar, who is heading the “Sarson Satyagrah Movement” in Jalandhar.

The postcard reads, “Respected Modiji, I am a citizen and a responsible parent and have to ensure that I provide safe and healthy food to our children. Our beloved PM, I request that you lead India into an organic food and farming country. I also request that all GM crops, including GM mustard, be banned and we also have to stop the use of pesticides.”

The activists organised the rally under various messages written on pamphlets that read “Say no to GM mustard, Dharti kare pukar GM mustard nahee swikar, No GMOs in our good, farm and environment.”

The NGOs that are working to spread awareness among people along with the Kheti Virasat Mission are Mission Clean Jalandhar and Samvedna Jagriti Manch. The whole movement is being carried out under the name of “Sarson Satyagrah”.

Pankaj Jain, a member of the Kheti Virasat Mission, said the activists would organise rallies on a regular basis. “We want the residents of the city to be aware of the fact that GM crops will only affect the health of people badly,” he claimed.

Lipika Kochar, who is leading the movement in the district while talking to The Tribune, said in a GM crop, a plant species is crossed with animal species.

She said as many as 38 countries had banned GM crops after growing these.

Kochar also said that since GM crops were herbicide-tolerant, the use of herbicides would increase manifold in fields.

“It should be understood that GM and organic crops cannot co-exist and GM crops would lead to genetic-level mutation,” Kochar said.

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