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

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.