?We are joining thisglobal movement against Monsanto here today because this company isreally the poster-child of corporate greed and corporate crimesagainst citizens and the environment. We are here to show corporations like Monsantothat citizens of India do care about the distress of Indian farmersand will not tolerate any jeopardizing of our farming, food andenvironment?, said P Srinivas, co convenor, GM Free KarnatakaCoalition according to a statement.
On 11th October 2013, theKarnataka High Court has dismissed petitions that challenged criminalprosecution of top officials of Monsanto/Mahyco and University ofAgricultural Sciences, Dharwar who have been accused of the egregiouscrime of biopiracy in promotion of Bt Brinjal, India's first foodGMO.
Speaking at the occasionLeo Saldanha of Environment Support Group (ESG) which first exposedthis serious crime said: ?Monsanto has historically worked to takeaway control over seeds from local farming communities as an integralpart of their business model. Now they have been caught red handedillegally appropriating Brinjal varieties endemic to India and whichconstitute our biodiversity heritage. We will continue to closelymonitor efforts of national and state biopiracy regulatory agenciesto ensure the criminal proceedings against the corporation andcollaborating institutions reaches its logical end and serves as anexample against similar biopirates for all time to come.?
The gathering in front ofthe Town Hall raised slogans against Genetically Modified crops andMonsanto and sang songs about the need for ecological farming and ourfood and farming traditions.
?With the mindlesspromotion of risky technologies like GM crops what is under threat isour future? said Prajesh Premnath, a student from city's St.Josephs college who had joined the protest along with scores of othercollege students.
Neha Saigal, SustainableAgriculture campaigner, Greenpeace India said, ?On the one handscientific evidence on adverse impacts of GM crops on human health,environment and farm livelihoods are increasing by the day and on theother hand our central government is out on a limb to push GM cropsinto our farms and plates.?
The gathering took asolemn oath to continue the struggle to keep our food and farmingsystems safe from agri corporations and their agrochemicals and GMOs.