Monday, March 9, 2009

Mortified about genetically modified food

It is mortifying to know that, as early as September,2009 we could have genetically modified food on our supermarket shelves. It is not about the availability of genetically modified food. It is about not having the choice to decide between regular and the genetically modified variety.It appears that the government is resisting the proposal for "GMO free" labelling to identify products which are not genetically modified.

Jeffery Smith in his book Seeds of Deception discusses how biotechnology companies have manipulated the government and the media to endanger the health of the people of the world. In a meeting in Bhubaneshwar Jeffery Smith pointed out how Bt Cotton (a genetically cotton) has adversely affected the health of farmers and resulted in deaths of cattle, sheep and goats in the states where it has been permitted. He cited studies on rats fed with genetically modified food that brought out serious organ disorders, high infant mortality, changes in intestinal gut flora and deaths. The only human study ever conducted revealed that inserted genes are getting transferred to intestinal bacteria.

An independent study conducted by the Deccan Development Society in India has revealed symptoms of reduced food intake, swollen lips, frothy salivation, nasal discharge, bulging of head and deaths within 25 to 30 days of continuous Bt Cotton fodder consumption. Similarly in the state of Harayana a study has revealed that buffaloes suffered prolapsed uterus, premature deliveries, abortions, reduction in milk output and fat content, change in taste of milk, and sudden deaths after being fed Bt Cotton fodder and oil seed cakes for a regular period.**

India, a predominantly vegetarian country, has only recently adopted a procedure to label food with non-vegetarian content. The government has been debating for years about more stringent warnings on cigarette packs - vis-a-vis the mild warning on the current packs which just states "smoking is injurious to health".

It is almost certain that if genetically modified food is allowed to be introduced in the country it will be impossible to make an informed choice as a customer. Laws will be flouted by the producer and the retailer to push (GM) products that maximize profits - not withstanding its effect on health.

After having read about its deleterious effect on health, I for one am going to give eating Egyptian Oranges and Washington Apples a miss. Who knows what is modified in these. Just eat whatever is grown on our Desh ki Dharti - this way you are sure (atleast till September,2009)that what you get matches the original strike-off sample approved at the Garden of Eden!

Just pray that the next government has the sagacity to keep the purveyors of genetically modified food at bay till its safety is proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

** This para has been take from:

No comments: