Free Press Journal

MPs on a Monsanto junket


New Delhi: MPs belonging to Shiv Sena and Akali Dal today flew out on a week-long trip to the US sponsored by global GM crop player Monsanto, notwithstanding the fact that BJP pulled out four of its MPs from the visit.

RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), which had raised objections to the BJP MPs being part of the Monsanto- sponsored tour has, termed the trip as one aimed at “bribing” the Parliamentarians and demanded a probe into all those MPs who have benefited from such tours in the past two decades.

“The tour amounts to bribing the MPs as the issue of allowing GM crop trials in India is under consideration of the Government of India,” Ashwani Mahajan, convener of the Manch said.

Monsanto, a world leader in developing genetically modified seeds, had invited these MPs along with three from Shiv Sena and one each from SAD and TRS to visit Iowa for the annual outdoor agricultural equipment exhibition “Farm Progress Show” in USA. The exhibition is from August 25 to 28 and the study tour is from August 24 to 30.

The BJP-led NDA government has put field trials of 13 genetically-modified (GM) crops on hold reportedly after RSS affiliates Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) had objected to carrying out of such trials after an environment Ministry panel cleared them.