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Public Forum on Genetic Engineering, Agriculture And Farmers Rights Cross Cutting Issues
Co-organised by
Deccan Development Society (DDS)
South Asia Network for Food Ecology and Culture (SANFEC)
Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
We, the people gathered at Hyderabad on 2nd & 3rd December 2002, for the public forum on Genetic Engineering, Agriculture and Farmers Rights are outraged at the proposed Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between the Indira Gandhi Agriculture University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India and the Syngenta Corporation. We condemn this attempted Biopiracy of the heritage and rights of farmers and to the physical removal of rice germplasm from a National Agricultural Research Centre which are to safeguard the interests of its farmers from whom it has made collections. This is an international scandal and we express deep concern at the growing corporate perversion of the international agricultural research system, since Syngenta has recently been inducted as a member of the CGIAR system. We fully support the movement of people of this country to preserve, protect and use their genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and pledge to support the people's movement.

We demand:

  1. That any processes of negotiations with foreign multinational corporations for knowledge / material transfer to be closed immediately.
  2. That national governments set up suitable apparatus so that a decision / discussion regarding genetic resources and agriculture goes through transparent process and public scrutiny.
  3. Dr R H Richharia's work on "Encyclopedia of Rice" be published and brought into public domain.
  4. The role of the Vice Chancellor of IGAU in this whole process be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against him.
  5. Existing rules governing material and knowledge transfer from universities and over research institutions be made public and applied strictly.
  6. Simultaneously through the act of making open it must be made possible for the citizens of this country to actively intervene when they detect irregularities of the above kind.
  7. Provisions for safeguards against such future attempts be inbuilt into the Biodiversity legislation.
  8. The primary objective of collections such as these should be to develop the material further directly with farmers through decentralized community processes rather than be handed over to private corporations.