Bangladeshi farmers unite March Against Monsanto in Dhaka for saving seed resourcesProtest meeting and Rally against Monsanto at Dhaka:
UBINIG ( Policy Research for Development Alternative) and Nayakrishi Andolon (New Agricultural Movement) joined with Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA), Paribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) and other organizations to organized a protest meeting against the Monsanto followed by a rally in front of the faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka at 10:30 am on 23 May 2015. Students, teachers, researchers, journalists, social activists, writers, artists, farmers and members of other professions participated in the protest meeting and rally. Abu Naser Khan, Chairman Paribesh Bachao Andolon chaired the protest meeting. Dr. Abdul Matin, General Secritary, BAPA; Farida Akhter, Executive Director, UBINIG; Mahidul Huq Khan , Ex-General Secretary , BAPA; Shubash Homevorm, Jatyo Adibashi Parishad and others addressed the meeting. Akkas Ali a Nayakrishi farmer presented a self comorsed song on the theme of the protest meeting. Nayakrishi Andolon organized similar protest meeting and rallies in Tangail and Ishwardi on the same day. Farmer leaders spoke on the occasion and explained to the people the danger Monsato pose for environment and health around the globe.
The protest rally was parallel to the third annual March Against Monsanto – begun by the Occupy movement and was held in around 400 cities in more than 40 countries. It was a march of tens of thousands of people in cities across the world on Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides. The event in Bangladesh has particularly highlighted the recent introduction of Btbrinjal, the genetically modified eggplant with the propreitory Monsanto technology.
In Bangladesh speakers accused Monsanto for destroying the seeds of indigenous varieties of crops, genetic resources and environment. They urged upon the concerned authorities and the people to resist Monsanto’s aggression.
Stop seed piracy, stop biopollution , protect our health
Monsanto’s Round Up Ready has recently classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organisation. Bangladeshi farmers and consumers are affected by cancer due to the use of this deadly poisonous herbicide, the speakers explained.
Monsanto has directly extended its vicious business trap in Bangladesh. It has patented nine varieties of our most important vegetables , brinjal/ egg plant. These varieties included uttara, kajla, nayontara, shingnath, ishwardi-6, islampuri and dohazari. The cultivation of Bt brinjal failed badly at farmers level and the farmers incurred heavy loss. Inspite of such loss of farmers, Monsanto with support of Corenell University and US Aid is still trying to prove their success by providing false data and deceive the farmers.
Nayakrishi farmers reaffirmed their commitment that they will not tolerate any upper hand in their indigenous seed resources. Bt brinjal has been created through genetic engineering disregarding the precautionary steps that must be taken before approving GMOs.
This is a direct threat to land races of brinjal. The Bt brinjal is a threat to human health and environment. Inspite of all these adverse impacts, Monsanto has been trying to push forward Bt brinjal through the Cornel University, The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute and control the market. It was mentioned at the time of releasing Bt brinjal that it must be labeled before marketing but that was not been complied with . This is because Monsanto knows that Bt brinjal is hurmful.
Hundreds of local varieties of brinjal have been grown in different districts of Bangladesh. We don’t need any Bt brinjal. Monsanto is giving the justification for food security for cultivation of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh The evil motive is to occupy the seed market in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
Monsanto is also trying to occupy the seed market of cotton, tomato, potato, rice, etc. through genetic modification.
Roundup Ready is a herbicide developed by Monsanto. This herbicide kills all plants in the field except the target crop. It kills green grass, uncultivated vegetables, medicinal herbs and all other plants.
Roundup Ready is listed among the deadly poisonous chemicals responsible for causing human cancer (WHO) .
Knowing full well about such adverse impacts, the use of Roundup Ready has been increased 16 times since1990 to date. Roundup Ready has been used in tea plantation in Bangladesh for long time, whereas this information was not made known to the people.
Nayakrishi farmers categorically said they we do not need any GM crops. GM crops can not ensure food security, it will add to business gains and benefit of Monsanto. Our primary duty is to maintain the seed resources of rice, vegetables, oil seed, pulses, and other plants. We shall maintain our seed resources in our own hand.
Against Monsanto at Ishwardi, Pabna
Nayakrishi farmers organized a protest meeting and rally at Dashuria Square Pabna- Ishwardi Highway on 23 May 2015. Jaynal Abedin Khan, Coordinator , U BINIG,Pabna chaired the meeting . Shukchand Ali,Rejaul Karim, Anowara Begum, Aleya Begum, LailyKhatun and Rasheda Begum addressed the meeting . They mentioned thal Genetically Modified crops can not ensure our food sovereignty. These will only add profits to Monsanto and destroy our biodiversity. They expressed commitment to resist the aggression of Monsanto for saving biodiversity and environment.
Against Monsanto at Tangail
Nayakrishi farmers organized meeting and a rally against Monsanto at Silimpur bazaar, Delduar upazila, Tangail on 23 may 2015.
Rabiul Islam Chunnu, coordinator, UBINIG, Tangail Chaird the meeting. Naba Kumar,Jjinnat Ali, Nasima Begum, Rahima Khatun, Nuruzzaman and others addressed the meeting. The Speakers mentioned that Monsanto , a multi National company has been destrying biological diversity by releasing Genetically Modified Organisms and pushing herbicides like Roundup Ready, hazardous for environment .
The farmers demanded withdrawal of the invasive genotypes, poisons and the phasing out of the prime source company Monsanto.
Rally calls for saving agriculture from Monsanto’s aggression in New Age 24 May 2015
Green activists: Stop use of Bt Brinjal, Roundup in Dhaka Tribune 24 May 2015