India Farmers Again Burn Genetically Engineered
Cotton Fields

Subject: 'Cremation Monsanto' Continues in Karnataka

'The Hindu'-(Shimoga Edition)
KRRS activists destroy Bt cotton crop
Shimoga, Jan.3. As planned, the farmers here on Wednesday, destroyed the
trial Bt Cotton crop grown in Savalanga, 20 km from here, in the
presence of a police posse, as part of their struggle against the use of the
genetically-modified seeds.

Volunteers of the newly-formed 'Hasiru Sene'(Green Brigade)-the youth
wing of the KRRS - rushed to the field belonging to a farmer,
Gangadharaiah, on the Savalanga - Shikaripur Road this evening and
uprooted the Bt cotton crop and destroyed it by setting it on fire.

Though tension prevailed for some time until the operation was over, no
arrests were made, according to reports received here. The police who
were clearly outnumbered, watched the incident helplessly.

It was stated that even as the leaders of the KRRS, including the
President, Prof.Nanjundaswamy and the President of the Bharatiya Kisan
Union(BKU), Choudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait, were addressing an
impromptu public meeting from a makeshift platform on the trailer of a
tractor, a group of 100 volunteers sporting green towels raised slogans
and rushed to the field, taking the police froce by surprice, and
destroyed the Bt Cotton. They were followed by the farmer leaders
including Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy and Choudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait,
who watched the destruction of the genetically-modified cotton species
against which the KRRS has been waging a battle to stop the application
of the biotechnology to agriculture on the plea it is harmful to the
environment and does incalculable damage to traditional and indigenous
agricultural methods.

When contacted, Gangadharaiah said he was not unhappy over the incident
and had no regrets as he had not grown the Bt cotton trial crop.

He said it was MAHYCO- a seed manufacturing company - that had raised it
on a 10-gunta plot on his farm.He was not aware of what had been grown
on it and denied any knowledge about the new cotton species.

The pubilc meeting concluded after the destruction of the Bt cotton crop
was over with the KRRS leaders asserting that they would not allow the
introduction of genetically-modified seeds as it had been conclusively
proved the world over that they were dangerous to the environment as
well as to time tested traditional farm practices.

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