Monday, 26 October 2009

The Great Indian Lab Rat

Please click on the image to enlarge and read.

It's simple really.

The pro GM Food lobby says GM Good is harmless.
Concerned scientists say, there is no proof it is the case. In fact, their independent researches show that indeed GM Food is harmful and may cause irreversible genetic contamination in the food and environment.
There is only one way to find out. Conduct proper long term tests.
And not introduce GM Food till then.
Introducing them without proper testing, will be undemocratic and inhuman.
We are no lab rats.

In the above poster, when you click and enlarge it, you will find arguments used by the GM Food companies. Beneath each of those is also a rebuttal to those arguments, as presented by scientists around the world. Read and think about it.

Most importantly, please write to the Prime Minister of India and register your protest. Also cc it to the environment minister, Shri Jairam Ramesh. He has invited public opinion till December 31, 2009.

Here are the mail ids of our respected minister:,,


You can also click and register your protest here with I am no Lab Rat.

or here with Greenpeace.

Here's some more information:

Do we really need GM Crops to solve world hunger?
A recent article in National Geographic says that sustainable agriculture and not GM Crops is the solution.

And here is a brilliant debate in the New York Times. The best minds debate the issue - Can bitech cure world's hunger:

We need proper tests:
Gene flow from Bt brinjal to wild relatives, if commercialized, would therefore be virtually certain. Whether the Bt gene becomes a permanent part of the environment in India would then depend on the properties of the gene in the wild plants–something that cannot be predicted without performing tests. No such tests have been performed according to the records available.

But are these tests possible?
Agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta don’t let their seeds be tested. For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects.
Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal.

Why Bt Brinjal is no solution.

Vandan Shiva on Bt Brinjal

The case against GM Crops which answers many questions.

Harassing Farmers
The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) rejected four key Monsanto patents related to genetically modified crops that PUBPAT challenged last year because the agricultural giant is using them to harass, intimidate, sue - and in some cases literally bankrupt - American farmers.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

So what's the climate action day all about. And why Indians should stand up and be counted.

October 24th. The International Day of Climate Action.
You have heard about it. You have seen the 350 banners. You have seen the Indian newspapers flimsily mention it.
So what's the big deal?
Well, for starters, this is the revolution we have been waiting for.
We always say, politicians are corrupt and won't do anything for our country.
We always say, oh but what can people do?
Two words. Civil Disobedience.
Two days from now, the people of the world will gather together, from wherever they are, and stand united. There will be millions of voices demanding a fair, ambitious and binding deal on climate change.
No bullshit. No false solutions. No political nonsense.
Our climate is not their business. And this is what October 24th is all about.

So what happens if Indians don't stand up and be counted?
We make a statement that we don't care. And that, friends, is an open invitation to a lot of bogus solutions like 'clean coal' and 'carbon trading' and 'GM Food' which will be sold cheap to willing buyers. And if the country of Gandhi doesn't care about civil disobedience, it becomes an easy prey to hawkish businessmen and politicians setting out ot make a quick buck. You have all seen how powerful the Bt Brinjal / GM Food lobby is. Wait till you see the clean coal brigade. It's got greedy governments on its side.

It's our future at stake here. And which is why stand up and make yourself be counted. Let's add a couple of more thousands to the number if not millions. It will be a start. Remember, Copenhagen is not about the governments, it is about us. And seeing all the people around the world coming together, it's already successful.

Onwards and upwards!

You can catch the latest on the biggest civil disobedience movement in the history of the world, here:

Click here for climate justice action:

Because the world needs to know:

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Are those brinjals in your brain, or are you just happy to read this post?

Screw the science.
That’s the rule, the climate sceptics, companies and their lobbyists seem to play by.
And then one day this happens.
A Monsanto owned company files a report saying how good Bt Brinjals are. Also known as GM foods and so on.
A committee approves the report and lo and behold the Bt Brinjals get an, dramatic music please, environmental clearance!!!

What a dark day for India.

And many such dark days later, Bt Brinjal will be unleashed upon Indians. The first food crop to be tested on humans, anywhere in the world.
All in the name of climate change – lack of food – the immense power of GM Crops logic.
Of course, Europe has banned GM Food. There are massive protests in America. But India, as always remains open for exploitation.
Because our minister says: there are arguments for it, and there are arguments against it. And we will decide once we have looked at all the arguments.
So, what have we been doing all these years?

Let me present some quick facts.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC, the clearing house for all gm crops in India), has cleared Bt brinjal on the basis of test results submitted by seed company Mahyco, which has developed the crop.

Mahyco is owned by Monsanto.

Activists managed to get their hands on Mahyco’s test results through a Right to Information petition. They sent the results to several independent scientists for review. Two scientists got back. Their analyses showed inconsistencies in Mahyco’s interpretation of the test results.
They also showed the tests were inadequate.

Mahyco claimed it did not find any significant difference between Bt brinjal and non-Bt brinjal in the biosafety tests. The company said it carried out toxicity and allergenicity studies on rats and its impact on soil microbes. It also assessed the impact on beneficial insects and the environment. Based on these, the GEAC cleared them for large-scale field trials. But the data is generated and analyzed by the company itself, said Suman Sahai, geneticist and convenor of the non-profit Gene Campaign. “There have been instances when companies have fudged data for obvious reasons.”

But our minister says: there are arguments for it, and there are arguments against it. And we will decide once we have looked at all the arguments.

This is no college, and we are in no classroom debate session. This is about the health and safety of a billion people. This is about food safety. This is about food standards. And if you don’t know how harmful genetically modified crops are, even after there is so much science that proves it, say so. Admit that you have been ignoring the overwhelming proofs against GMOs. Do whatever, but don’t pass that law which will cause an irreversible damage to our country, our environment, our health and our food security.

And if a debate really helps, I invite our environment minister to an open public debate on the issue. I am no scientist. I am an ordinary Indian, but I have something that will make me win this debate.

It’s called common sense.

Here are some questions and their answers. Click on the links. And you too can invite the environment minister for a nice little debate.

But first, write a letter to the environment minister. Please. Click here.

(Click on the questions to know the answers. Open in a different window)

Does India need GM crops? Are they safe? How much does the consumer know?

Biotechnology has failed in the world, why promote it here?

What are the health hazards, and how does it affect the land and environment?

What's the risk factor? And, isn’t it about MNCs continuing with their monopolistic hegemony by selling GM seeds in third world countries?

Why I still oppose GM Crops?

To hell with GM Crops. How can organic farming stop global warming?

Write a letter to our environment minister. Please.


It is heartbreaking to hear that Bt Brinjal has been given an environmental clearance.
Around the world, there is genuine opposition backed with facts that GM food is dangerous. We request you to please stop it from being introduced in the country.
Our country does not need GM food. In fact, the world doesn’t need GM Food.
We wanted to put a counter argument here against GM food, but we are sure there will be many qualified people who would present a solid case against it.
Here is a Center for Science and Environment report on the same:

Sir, as Indians and as a citizens of the world, we humbly request you to please not introduce GM food.


Here are the mail ids of our respected minister:,,

Friday, 9 October 2009

The anatomy of our greed

Click on the image to enlarge and read. The poster is based on Arundhati Roy's various essays, Shoma Chaudhary's brilliant articles in Tehelka, and common sense.

Just think about this before you start shouting like a television anchor who is baying for blood:
The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution grants tribals complete rights over their traditional land and forests and prohibits private companies from mining on their land.
Human rights activists have long argued that the real intention of the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh was to capture tribal land — brimming-rich with minerals — and hand it over to private companies. The fact that 600 tribal villages have been evacuated in the last few years gives credence to this theory. If tribals no longer live on that land, the inconvenient Fifth Schedule of the Constitution will not apply.

About time you read the Fifth Schedule?

Read it word for word. It will open your mind.

From the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: Arundhati Roy, we just have less than a minute. What gives you hope?

ARUNDHATI ROY: What gives me hope is the fact that this way of thinking is being resisted in a myriad ways in India, you know, from the poorest person in a loincloth in the forest saying, “We’re going to fight,” right up to me, who’s at the other end, you know. And all of us are joined together by the determination that, even if we lose, we’re going to fight, you know? And we’re not going to just let this happen without doing everything we can to stop it. And that gives me a tremendous amount of hope.

That says it all, doesn't it?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

A public service announcement

Click on the image to read

The Great Indian Sale is offering a free check-up for you and your loved ones. Just spend a little time on this blog. Look up at some of the posters, read a few links. If at the end of it, you do not feel outraged enough at what is happening to our country, then the monster may have already eaten away your soul.

But there is a way to reclaim it. If you really want to, that is. It's going to be tough, but you need to start asking questions. For example: Why do I think going to a mall is a perfectly healthy exercise, when I KNOW going to a park will be better for me?
This will lead to the second question: What the hell happened to the parks?
And the third: What about the forests?
And the fourth: And the rivers?
The next step is a bit obvious. Take these questions to those people you have elected. You are paying their salaries.

We have surveyed and found that there is an alternative to reclaiming the soul too. It's making extensive trips to malls and spending as much money as possible. Just stuff the emptiness left by your soul with burgers and colas. It's working with a lot of us Indians it seems.