14th June 2019
What the IB said about FOREIGN FUNDED Vandana Shiva and Kavitha Kuruganti
Extracts from here:
anti-Genetically Modified Organism activism in India is led by five Indian activists and six NGOs, including Greenpeace. Stalling of mega industrial projects, like POSCO and Vedanta, is well documented, including the role of European NGOs such as the UK-based Amnesty International, Action Aid and Survival International.
In the Indian context, significant anti-developmental activities undertaken by NGOs during 2011-13 included agitations against Genetically modified organisms,
Section 3 – Anti Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) activism
- The pro-GMO debate in India centres round the resounding success of Bt Cotton in the last ten years. India, a net importer of cotton in 2001-02, is now the second largest exporter of cotton in the world, next only to China. Bt Cotton has been instrumental in the massive increase in cotton yields (Economic Survey 2011-12), which rose 168% in 10 years, from 190 kg/hectare in 2000-01 to 510 kg/hectare in 2010-11. In the same time period, farmers increased acreage by 29%, from 8.6 million hectares to 11.1 million hectares, on account of much-increased profitability. Of the total cropped area in the world, 82% cotton, 75% soyabean, and 32% maize, is assessed to be based on GM organisms, and at least 2 billion people have been assessed to be already consuming GM Food in the world.
- Five Indian activists and six NGOs (five FCRA-registered), including Greenpeace, are at the forefront of anti-GMF activism in India. Anti-GMF activism was initiated in 2003 by Vandana Shiva (Navdanya/FCRA; Consultant, Greenpeace Australia) and was followed by Suman Sahai (Gene Campaign/FCRA; PIL in Supreme Court in 2004 to and 2007). Competing with Gene Campaign, Aruna Rodrigues filed a PIL through Prashant Bhushan in 2005. 2010 onwards, Kavitha Kuruganti [Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) and India For Safe Food (IFSF)] also joined the campaign. However, in the last four years, these four activists have received increasing support and resources from Greenpeace International, through its Indian subsidiary. Karuna Raina runs the anti-GM campaign for Greenpeace.
- A significant portion of foreign funding for these NGOs was’ sourced from German donors such as Greenpeace International, EED, Bread for the World and Misereor, amongst others.
- The manner of free-funding for these NGOs is observed from the fact that ASHA and its IFSF campaign are headquartered with four prominent anti-nuclear NGOs (two FCRA-registered) at a single address, A-124/6, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi, which is an unmarked, small, two-room flat. These four NGOs are INSAF (Indian Social Action Forum), CNDP (Centre for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace), PEACE (Popular Education and Action Centre) and JSSS (Jan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti), the latter being the focal point for anti-Fatehabad Nuclear Power Plant activism. INSAF’s FCRA registration was frozen in 2013.
- The above NGOs were active facilitators of news articles, liaison with other activists and social media activism, which contributed to the three-year old moratorium on Bt Brinjal and the ban/moratorium regimes recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee (August 9, 2012) and the Technical Expert Committee (TEC), appointed by the Supreme Court (October 7, 2012).
- Earlier, in 2008, Ronald Herring (Cornell University) had accused anti GMF activists of spreading the falsehood that hundreds of sheep and cattle had died after ingesting Bt Cotton leaves in Warangal district in 2006 and 2007. Pro-UM researchers, bio-tech companies and other field enquiries have not been able to verify any such deaths, raising questions on the credibility and integrity of reports generated by these activists.