Over 4000 women, mostly tribals, under the banner of Orissa Nari Samaj (ONS), on Tuesday picked up an innovative idea to give an impetus to their demand that Orissa should be declared as organic state.
They exhibited 500 indigenous paddy varieties collected by them in front of State Assembly to put across the message that State government would risk the rich flora base of rice species if genetically modified organisms (GMOs) entered the region.
Observing the global action day against Genetic Engineering (GE), the women activists of ONS from different corners of the State, civil society members and students took to the street in the capital city.
They shouted slogans against entry of GE technology for the food crops and seed.
“The GE is a new technology which artificially manipulates and transfers genetic material between unrelated organisms. GMOs are potentially hazardous to human health and create irreversible risks for environment,” said G. John, convenor of the coalition of people’s movement against GE.
Orissa government had earlier banned bacillus thuringiensis brinjal in the State after a series of meetings with scientists and other civil society groups, Mr. John said.
Ms. Janani Hansdha, spokesperson of ONS, said the government should incorporate in agriculture policy that Orissa would be GE free organic state.