Saturday, March 19, 2011

SFA organizes Organic Food Mela in Chennai - 19th March 2011

SAFE FOOD ALLIANCE urges consumers to go organic and seek safe healthy
ORGANIC FOOD MELA attracts 1000s to safe healthy consumption.
Chennai 19th March 2011

Colorful Organic mela organized by Safe Food Alliance, at the Semmozhi Poonga
attracted 1000s to the various stalls set to showcase the seed diversity, organic food,
traditional rice and millets varieties, natural dyeing, ills of chemical pesticides and
GMO. There has been repeated proof in recent times that the sustainable and future of
agriculture is in the sphere of small, diverse farms growing food through sustainable
farming techniques using organic farming methods and the capacity of such methods to
feed the world.

‘The organic mela is the first of the several that the SFA group plans to hold across Tamil
Nadu to emphasis the goodness of organic food, the amazing nutritional value and health
through local millets and to emphasis on the need for consumer awareness on safe and
healthy eating habits. This is being organized as a fellow citizen to bring awareness about
our alienation from food and farming’ observed Ananthoo, coordinator of SFA. He also
added that consumers needed to have more understanding of food, farmer and farming to
create a win-win situation for both us consumers and for the farmers’.

‘While organic food leaves less carbon foot print and is kind on the ecology, it is also
more nutritive and free of adulteration. Such practices are not only safe options for
consumers but ecologically and economically sustainable for the farmers too’ said
Radhika who runs a not-for-profit organic store called Restore, along with friends.

The visitors had a chance to interact with organic farmers, women SHGs, experts and
celebrities during the course of the organic mela and also got to taste food made out
of traditional recipes from organic millets. They also had hands on exposure to natural
dyeing in one of the stalls. There were also other stalls on publications, hazards of
chemical pesticides and Genetically Modified food.

Genetically Modified food has been debated only amongst the few informed citizens,
farmers and scientists, though such food being introduced in the market will impact
the health and life of everyone who consumes the same. Safe Food Alliance along with
several organic farming networks across the state has been creating awareness and debate
on the need to reject such unnecessary and greed driven technology in agriculture. IAM
NO LAB RAT was a campaign with several celebrities participating that was launched
with the view of protesting against citizens being treated as a lab rat by corporate
scientists for an environmentally irreversible and safety wise untested GM food.
Dr G Sivaraman of Poovalagin Nanbargal said “The campaign is being currently re-
launched through a national network of sustainable agriculture practitioners and organic
food consumers. While we are not against technology per se, it should be safe beyond
any doubt, eco-friendly and be within reach of common man.” He also added that “we
are heartened by the response of the public in writing to the PM against the use of GM

food and their concerns about using the citizens as lab rats for corporate greed and profit.
There is a danger of the diversity and traditional varieties being lost.”

Earlier this week experts and activists of SFA gave a fitting response to the PM for
promoting GM rice by forwarding an unique gift hamper comprising various local foods
that are rich in Vitamin-A, but cost effective and easily accessible! Then they also urged
all political parties to clearly state their stand on sensitive issues like GM and pesticides
and issue clear support for sustainable (ecological as well as economical) agriculture in
the run up to the elections and incorporate the demands on safe food in their respective

For more information, contact: Dr. Sivaraman, 9444027455 or or Selva Ganapathy 9790951652
or Ananthoo, 9444166779 of Safe Food Alliance, Chennai.


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