14 October 2009

safe food now!

The Indian food supply is on the brink. The first GM-crop, Bt Brinjal has been approved by the GEAC for release. The approval by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee was expected on the basis of test results submitted by seed company Mahyco which is a subsidiary of Monsanto who developed the crop.

After two reports were presented to the GEAC, approval was delayed until April 2009. Mahyco's results were sent to several independent scientists for review and two studies showed several inconsistencies. One study by Dr. Seralini in France showed that Bt Brinjal affected animals like rats, rabbits, goats etc and even induced antibiotic resistance. The Seralini study has been instrumental is putting a delay to the GEAC approval. however the roadblock has disintegrated. Requests for Mahyco's studies to be made public has been refused by the GEAC. The Gene Campaign has filed a PIL to ensure that no GMOs are introduced without proper testing. However now that the GEAC has approved Bt Brinjal it is now time for the Center to decide.

The Environmental Minister has previously said that he does not support the release of GM food, so it is time now to make good on his promise. The release of GM-Brinjal into the mainstream will open the flood-gates for other crops to follow. A previous post talks about the environmental and health hazards of GM crops which are well documented and it is in public health interest to ensure that such crops are not encouraged. Write, fax or email Jairam Ramesh now to let him know your views.

Email Address for Jairam Ramesh: jairam@vsnl.com or jairam@sansad.nic.in or mosef@nic.in

For more information look here.

Photo Courtesy: Down to Earth

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