Skip to main content

GM will insert dangerous chemical in our Sarson da Saag, don't give eco-clearance: BJP leader writes to Modi

By Our Representative
In a surprise move, Vallabh Kathiria, who once belonged to the anti-Narendra Modi camp in the BJP during the latter's chief ministership of Gujarat, has written to the Prime Minister asking him to reject an application by the Delhi University with the Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change for “environmental release” or commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) mustard hybrid seed.
Former Union minister under AB Vajpayee, one who strongly stood by Modi's bete noire Keshubhai Patel, but later joined hands with Modi, Kathiria has brought together 35 prominent persons from the medical fraternity and written ia letter to the Prime Minister, telling him that "GM mustard happens to be a herbicide-tolerant" seed developed with "nearly Rs 100 crore of our taxpayers’ funds".
"Very often, it is being argued that since it is a public sector product, India should allow it, forgetting that what is inherently unsafe (created through transgenic technology) is bound to be unsafe whether it is from the public sector or private sector", Kathiria, who has been given the task of cow protection under Gujarat government, says.
Among these who have endorsed the letter include Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, MP and former Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare; Padma Bhushan Dr BM Hegde, former vice chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka; Padma Bhushan Dr Inderjeet Kaur, All India Pingalwara Society, Amritsar; and Dr. Lalit Nath, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
"A majority of countries around the world disallow GM crop cultivation due to the various risks associated with this technology and given the fact that this is an living, irreversible technology when released into the environment", the letter, written at a time when strong industry, especially MNC, bodies are lobbying with the Modi government to allow GM seeds, says.
Pointing out that "several reports are available about environmental health crisis that is unfolding in some South American countries after they adopted herbicide tolerant GM crops on a large scale", Kathiria, who is a physician and belongs to Rajkot, say, "In GM crops, the danger is both from the genetic engineering process as well as the chemical/herbicide that is used on the crop."
Insisting that "there is ample scientific evidence available that GM foods result in numerous adverse health impacts starting from allergies, to impaired immunity, organ damage, affecting growth and development of organisms, reproductive health problems, and even carcinogenic effects", the letter says, "Evidence points to the fact that the limited number of tests that were done on Bt brinjal were not taken up for GM mustard safety assessment."
Kathiria further says, "There were no chronic and inter-generational health impact studies done", adding, "The longest test was for sub-chronic toxicity, for 90 days", which was done "without treating the GM mustard as a herbicide tolerant crop."
Kathiria regrets, "Even though the face being projected is that of a public sector institute, even here (for health safety testing), some tests were outsourced to private laboratories. No data has been put out in the public domain and it is unclear why this was so."
In fact, says Kathiria, "There were no health ministry representatives who participated in the appraisal of GM mustard. Further, in the sub-committee created to appraise safety of GM mustard, the one health expert put in had objectionable conflict of interest by virtue of being a board member in industry funded bodies and by virtue of having taken up health safety studies in the institute that he headed (as Director of National Institute of Nutrition)."
The letter underlines, "GM mustard has been genetically engineered by the insertion of bar gene to withstand the application of a weedicide called Glufosinate. In India, MNC Bayer has an active patent on this chemical. The implication of this chemical being sprayed directly on our food are clearly worrisome – mustard leaves are eaten as Sarson da Saag."

Comments

Uma said…
Padma Bhushan and similar awards are NOT titles. If you inform the reader mention in brackets or with other similar punctuation.

TRENDING

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.

Shabana Azmi joins Pak physicist Hoodbhoy to condemn B'desh anti-minority violence

By Our Representative  Several well-known South Asian activists and public figures of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives have expressed “deep distress” by the spate of violence and killings in Bangladesh on the occasion of Durga Puja and Vijayadashami. “Attacks on minorities are a sign of injustice and a matter of shame for any society and bring a bad name to the Government”, they said in a joint statement.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.