DDS OBSERVES GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION
10-16 April 2005
NEW LIES & OLD TRUTHS: Farmers say NO to Genetically Engineered crops
An international meet of farmers, scientists, activists organised by the Deccan Development Society has said in loud and clear terms:
We, farmers and peoples from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali, Nepal, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Thailand gathered at Southern Encounters - an international consultation on Bt cotton, organised on 14-15 April 2005 at Hyderabad, India as part of and in solidarity with the Global Week of Action. As we all lit the flame, we were together not only in ceremony but in spirit to keep alight our knowledge and belief in our diverse farming cultures. Whilst we celebrate this heritage, we are deeply concerned by the "new" technologies that threaten its very existence.
The genetic engineering industry has been aggressively spreading its
mispropaganda and justifying its existence saying that it is there to
feed theworld. This self-sponsored hype has blinded even our own policy-makers.
Intergovernmental processes internationally and our own governments
domestically have shown little political will or courage to address
the legitimate risks and dangers associated with the widespread application
of transgenics. To make matters worse there is no insistence from governments
for corporate liabilities.
2. DDS women farmers protest in front of ICRISAT against the corporatisation of Agriculture
About 500 women farmers on April 15, 2005 held a demonstration outside ICRISAT, the International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics, near Hyderabad demanding farmers seeds back from the ICRISAT Gene Banks.
The farmers were asking ICRISAT to liberate itself from the clutches of transnational corporations and stop indulging in genetic engineering.
Worshipping seeds, singing songs in praise of the farmers varieties of seeds, the women from the Sanghams of the Deccan Development Society, left behind five symbolic pots of seeds, containing Jowar, Bajra, Red Gram, Bengal Gram and Groundnut - the five mandate crops of ICRISAT - in front of the ICRISAT gate with a placard saying ICRISAT REMEMBER YOUR MANDATE.
The women also marched along the streets of Sangareddy the headquarters of Medak District in Andhra Pradesh asking the governments to desist from introducing Genetically Engineered crops into their environment and supporting corporations entry into agriculture.
3. SOUTH AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING LAUNCHED
As part of the Global Week of Action, a new coalition SOUTH AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING [SAGE] was launched in Hyderabad city in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. With over 60 members from across South India, the coalition has civil society groups, farmers, scientists, academicians, consumer groups as its members and is led by the Deccan Development Society.
Ten civil society networks representing over 120 NGOs representing over 15 districts of Andhra Pradesh came together to form a new coalition called Andhra Pradesh Coalition for Food Sovereignty under the leadership of Deccan Development Society. The new Coalition has for its aims, achievement of Community Food Sovereignty, networking of food farmers especially from Dryland districts and to create a movement against the corporatisation of agriculture.