During a scientific conference at Bhubaneswar I was informed that GM crops is the only solution to the food crisis looming ahead and "minor genetic disturbances" should not force us to reject this technology. I asked the esteemed scientist whether he had seen the way cattle have died after feeding upon Bt Cotton. He said he had not. I then narrated to him in detail what I had heard from veterinary surgeons of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The scientist was shocked and admitted he did not know of this. I am sure that henceforth he would not advocate the cause of GM so ardently.
Thus even while listening to scientists we must be aware that they too are often not fully informed about GM food and its attendant dangers.
Dr Gregory Damato, like many others before him, gives us an idea about what GM food can do to us. Let us go through the article carefully before we decide to feast on Bt Brinjal. Dr Damato points out that the after effects become more and more severe with passing generations. Just as GM crops show their true nature after 3 to 7 years of cultivation.
Let us not destroy our food. Let us not destroy the future of the coming generations. Let us not bow down to the diktats of any force, however powerful that may be. A mother can confront a hungry lion when it threatens her child. Let us learn from that mother. It is OUR children, OUR future that is at stake here.
Dr Damanto points out that very recent scientific studies prove:
1. There is no increase in yield with GM
2. Gene insertion has unintended cascading effects
3. One gene insertion can have more than one uncontrolled effect
4. Decrease in fertility, very serious and deep rooted immunolgical changes, allergies are SOME of the effects
5. A single gene insertion caused uncontrolled changes in 1016 genes of mice under experimentation
6. The after effects were more pronounced in the third generation.
7. Emergence of newly expressed proteins with allergenic potential.
In short, death and destruction all around. As Dr Damanto rightly comments in the end, those propagating GM crops and food will have a hard time explaining their stance after the results of these government sponsored studies have been published.
Unfortunately our Health Minister prefers to remain silent on the issue though it has been brought to his notice by Indian doctors.
Are we lambs intended for slaughter? Only time will tell.
I would request each one of you to kindly impress upon Dr Ramadoss the need to have our own sincere untampered unbiased and truthful scientific studies in this very vital issue of food safety and sovereignty.
Jagannath Chatterjee __._,_.___
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