RSS affiliate SJM writes to PM Modi to seek Glyphosate ban
An offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the use of Glyphosate, claiming that the herbicide has severe consequences on health including cancer, neurological and liver diseases.
On Friday, SJM national co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said there is growing concern over the use of the herbicide. He said it is not licensed for use in India and the registration was for use in tea gardens alone, yet is being used needlessly.
“Efforts are being made to propagate its use. The BT seed was sown illegally and ex-post permission was sought for its use. Now a new problem has cropped up, it is herbicide tolerant BT cotton,” Mahajan said.
He said there is lack of awareness amongst farmers on the dangers of using the herbicide.
“No one is telling the farmers who use Glyphosate that it is leading to cancers, liver and neurological disorders. Ht-BT or BT mustard should be stopped. And the first step is a ban on Glyphosate,” he said at a conference attended by environmentalists, doctors, lawmakers and farmers union representatives. The SJM’s petition has been supported by 1.12 lakh people to push for the banning the herbicide.
Earlier this week, the SJM had complained to union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar that he had given incorrect information about the herbicide in his response to a question in Parliament.
While Tomar had replied the herbicide is registered for use in the country and not linked to cancer, the SJM urged the minister to review and reconsider the decision.
Kavita Kuruganthi of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, who also spoke at the conference, said there is evidence from experimental studies on various problems being caused by the herbicide. There is enormous evidence of what is happening to communities living close to where these chemicals are used, she said.
“It mimics, a particular amino acid, which then creates rogue proteins. The other is, Glyphosate is an antibiotic, the way it kills weeds, it creates a similar path way to kill beneficial bacteria,” she said referring to is hazardous aspects.