Navdanya joined 100s of activists and citizens at Dilli Haat yesterday where Greenpeace activists organized the preparation of the world's biggest organic ‘baingan ka bharta’ to protest against the introduction of Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011.
To make this record breaking GMO free baingan bharta, Navdanya supplied 250 kgs of organic GMO free brinjals along with 100 kgs each of organically grown onions and tomatoes. These brinjals come from a certified organic farm in Mehpa near Meerut where the farmer's group supported by Navdanya apply natural ways of cultivation using the desi variety of the brinjal seed. Apart from being free from pesticides and GMOs, these organically grown fruits and vegetables are not only more flavourful but also can be more nutritious.
Navdanya started the movement against Bt. Brinjal in 2006, which is when the trials for Bt. Brinjal began. Speaking at the event, Dr Vandana Shiva talked about how pro Bt. lobbies are giving scientifically inaccurate information to thrust toxins in our food. "The argument that without Bt., pests cannot be controlled is totally false. On the contrary, after the introduction of Bt., we are seeing the emergence of super pests and super weeds that are completely out of control. Moreover, the so-called safety tests have not tested for transgenic Bt., which includes genes for antibiotic resistance and genes for viral promoters. We have already seen how 200,000 farmers have sacrificed their lives over the failure of the BT cotton crop.
The BRAI bill if enacted, would create a new regulatory body, which would enable a single window clearance system for genetically modified crops. Thus if passed, it will give genetically modified organisms (GMOs) fast-track approval and throw their critics into jail. "By introducing BRAI, the government is clearly saying that they work for corporations, and that they work for Monsanto. We cannot let our country be hijacked by corporate interests. Our farmer's lives are at stake. Our biodiversity is at stake. Our food is at stake. Food has become the center of the new colonization and we must make sure it becomes the center of our freedom", said Dr. Shiva to the activists and citizens gathered to protest against the corruption of our food.