Biotech Updates

Indian Farmers Plant Bt Brinjal as Non-violent Protest against Gov't Regulations on GM Crops

June 20, 2019

Around 1,500 farmers gathered in a field in Maharashtra to plant Bt brinjal and herbicide tolerant cotton seeds, which are not approved for planting in India. They planted the seeds because they believe that the seeds could improve their livelihoods and help decrease pesticide use in the farms. Bt brinjal has been planted by thousands of farmers in Bangladesh, where it is approved for planting since 2013.

According to Lalit Patil Bahale, the owner of the farm used in the protest, the act is a "satyagraha", a word coined by Mahatma Gandhi for campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience against unjust colonial-era laws.

The protest came after an incident in Haryana where farmers were found to be planting Bt brinjal, despite the GM brinjal ban that was implemented in 2010. The Bt brinjal farms in Haryana were destroyed by authorities. During the protest, the farmers demanded the government to compensate the farmers in Haryana and declared that they are currently raising funds to give assistance to the farmers affected by the incident.

Read the original article from Cornell Alliance for Science.