MADURAI: NGOs in the city on Saturday held demonstration demanding a ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO), citing potential harm to human health. The demonstration was part of a worldwide protest against a US-based company called Monsanto which produces GMO products. 

Around 75 members from various NGOs held placards and banners that read "Ban the GMO" and walked from Gandhi Museum to collectorate office. They handed out posters and handbills and collected signatures from the public. 

A US-based company called Monsanto has reportedly been producing 90% of GMO in the country, causing various disorders to human health, protestors claimed. The company produced BT cotton and BT Brinjal in Maharashtra which contained a harmful chemical called 'glyphosate' that drives away poisonous boll worms in cotton. Protestor Yogesth Karthik said, "After the company used glyphosate to produce BT cotton in 2002, it was in 2009 that the worms were immune to the chemical and were not affected by it. We need the government to impose a ban on GMO. Many cattle in Maharashtra were reported to have died due to the chemical used in BT cotton."

Scientist from Madurai Kamaraj Universtiy K Shankar said, "There have been alleged instances of tomatoes being preserved by using things like frog skin which are genetically modified. This is harmful." 

The World Health Organisation in March, 2015 confirmed that the chemical glyphosate causes cancer. On Saturday, protests were held in Europe, US, Japan and Australia, among other places.

Originally Published: The Times Of India