Tamil Nadu Agricultural University files Complaint against Protesters

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University files Complaint against Protesters

The university authorities have lodged a complaint with the police against a group of people who entered the university on Friday.

A release from the university alleged that the group that entered unauthorised into the university (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University), defaced the university name board and illegally entered the trial fields “disguised as farmers”.

This is an offshoot of farmers and environmental activists belonging to the Tamizhaga Velan Kappu Kuzhu staging a protest against the genetic engineering (GE) field trials of Bt brinjal being done at the university.

According to the release from Registrar P. Santhana Krishnan, the university has claimed that it worked solely for the benefit of farmers and society.

“The trials are being conducted based on the directions of the Government of India.

The university does not undertake any GE research on its own. Based on the clearance that there is no toxicity the experiments are allowed to be conducted.”

It has also denied the fact that Bt crops were being grown adjacent to non-Bt crops. “The scientific truth is that though tomato and brinjal belong to the same family, cross pollination is not possible between them since their chromosome numbers are different,” the university maintained.

It also stated that there was no poison in GE foods. In only enabled public to get pesticide-residue free brinjal for consumption.

Quoting a recent Supreme Court ruling on GE crops that “the fear of the unknown – that GE food crops could spell hazard for the bio safety and environment – could not be a ground to restrict the research in a country such as India, which has millions to feed”, the university claimed that the Court had ordered to continue research on GE crops.

Responding to another allegation that the harvest Br brinjal fruits were being dumped into a well, the university said that actually the brinjals were being burnt using incinerators.