Politicians, farmers' unions and activists Tuesday launched a nation-wide protest against the "controversial" Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill here and also slammed US-based hybrid seed company, Monsanto.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Greenpeace India, Coalition for a GM-Free India etc. assembled at Jantar Mantar here and demanded that the BRAI Bill be withdrawn immediately.
"BRAI Bill is one more example of how the current government continues to sell the nation lock stock and barrel and pushes us away from Gandhiji's idea of Swaraj," said Arvind Kejriwal of AAP.
Agreed Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M who called BRAI "another American appeasement law by the government".
The protesters vowed to fight the "invasion" of genetically modified (GM) crops and its proponents like Monsanto, into India's food and farming.
Launching the national campaign, Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Convenor for the Coalition for a GM Free India, said: "This bill forced upon us by the government is clearly a legal instrument to force GM crops into India's food basket.
Calling GM crops and Monsanto "a global threat," Neha Saigal of Greenpeace India said: "Given that the damage is uncontrollable and irreversible, there is absolutely no reason why one should even think of releasing GM crops into the environment".
The BRAI Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the previous parliament session despite opposition from within and outside.