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Honorable Thiru Veerapandi Arumugam
Minister of Agriculture
State Government of Tamilnadu
No 4, Thirumurthi Street, T. Nagar
Chennai 600 017                                                                                                                                   May 8, 2008


Dear Honorable Minister,

We are a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education (www.fbae.org) based in Bangalore who are trying to spread scientifically sound and information about modern biotechnology, and especially the Genetically Modified (GM) crops in the country. We are interested in creating proper awareness about modern biotechnology with different stakeholder groups about the risks and benefits of modern biotechnology.

We are pleased to note from the Indian Express Dated May 6, 2008 that correctly defended the first ever Bt cotton crop based on sound scientific and factual information. We would like to congratulate you and your advisors in your ministry for giving you proper information about the safety and success of Bt cotton not only in Tamilnadu, but also in other parts of the country. In fact, the Bt cotton hybrid produced by a leading Tamilnadu seed company, Rasi Seeds is perhaps markets the best possible Bt cottonseed in the country.

We are sure you are aware of the scare mongering false propaganda of some NGOs and farmer’s groups with vested political interest. They peddle scientifically baseless and false picture abut eh failure of Bt cotton and that is simply not eh case anywhere in the country. We urge you to always depend on the sound scientific advice of the Tamilnadu Agricultural University scientists who are best informed abut what is really happening in the field and can furnish the specific details. The ant-biotech activists have sinister plan to deny this wonderful biotechnology to the farmer’s f the country and we should not allow such an unfortunate thing to happen.

GM crops are here to stay and the Government of India is spending millions of dollars to develop these technologies in public sector institutions including the Tamilnadu Agricultural University, and we hope you realize that no one, and lest of all the state or central government could not be spending millions of dollars to carry out research and develop GM crops if they were known to be dangerous and ineffective.

Our foundation has plenty of authentic scientific information data, peer reviewed publications and reports of the leading scientific bodies of the world including India’s own National Academy of Sciences that endorse GM crops for the benefit of the developing world farmers.

We wan to assure you that you are on the right wicket when you defend GM crops technology as being safe, sound and efficacious, and we will be more than happy to furnish any information to support such claims.

We want to congratulate you for rightly defending the GM crops and thank you for your valor on the floor of the state assembly. We look forward to interacting with your ministry to organize any meeting or workshop or training for the department’s extension personnel and the state agricultural officers for creating awareness about modern biotechnology.

Please visit our web site www.fbae.org to learn more about our organization. Kind regards.

Dr. Shanthu Shantharam
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The latest issue of Plant Physiology (July 2008; Volume 147, Issue 3) has a special section on next generation of biotech crops especially on nutritional improvement.  These papers can
be downloaded free!

Influence of Transgenosis on the Plant-Insect- Relationships, in Particular on Chemically       Mediated Interactions

Effect of Transgenes Conferring Enhanced Pathogen Resistance on the Interaction with Symbiotic        Fungi in Rice

Impact on the Soil Ecosystem through Natural and Genetically Engineered Organisms:
      Effects, Methods and Definition of Damage as Contribution to Risk Assessment

The Decomposition of Bt-Corn on the Fields and its Impact on Earthworms and on other        Macroorganisms in the Soil

Environmental Post-market Monitoring of Bt-maize:
       Approaches to Detect Potential Effects on Butterflies and Natural Enemies

Columns by Dan Gardner

Against the Grains: 'The Terminator Hoax '

Decisions taken in the 84th Meeting of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee

Brazilian Health Biotech: Fostering Crosstalk Between Public and Private Sectors

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June 12, 2008.

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