Hospet: Baba Ramdev, the world-renowned yoga guru has expressed his deep concern and opposition to Genetically Modified (GM) food crops. Addressing journalists at a press conference in Hospet on the eve of a week-long yoga camp, the Yoga Guru used strong words to oppose GM food and Bt Brinjal in particular. Describing the introduction of GM food crop as a ‘conspiracy’ by foreign multinationals’ to make common Indian people and farmers in particular totally dependent on foreign technology’, the guru said that such food is totally unacceptable as it is unsafe for health.
The guru who gives much emphasis on healthy living, practicing of yoga and a holistic approach to life, said that GM varieties of food crop can cause several illness. He was particularly critical of the effort to create GM varieties of Ayurvedic herbs which he said was totally uncalled for. The week long yoga camp in Hospet is drawing thousands of people from all over the state.
Study shows GM Brinjal unsafe for health
Meanwhile, an independent analysis of Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company’s (Mahyco) Bt brinjal, India’s first GM food crop, has revealed that the crop was unsafe for human consumption.
The finding was based on the dossiers submitted by the seed company in its application to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) requesting for commercial release of Bt brinjal.
The study was submitted by a team headed by Gilles-Eric Séralini of France-based Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) which concluded that Bt brinjal might be a serious risk to human and animal health.
The study noted, “The parameters affected in animals fed with Bt brinjal are in blood cells or chemistry, but in different manners according to the period of measurement during the study or sex. In goats, the prothrombin time is modified and biochemical parameters such as total bilirubin and alkaline phosphates are also changed, as well as feed consumption and weight gain. For rabbits, less consumption was noted and also prothrombin time modification, higher bilirubin in some instances, albumin, lactose dehydrogenase and the hepatic markers alanine and aspartate aminotransferases. Sodium levels were also modified, as well as glucose, platelet count, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit value. In cows, milk production and composition changed by 10%-14% .”
“Rats which were GM-fed had diarrhoea, had higher water consumption, suffered from decrease in liver weight as well as decrease in the relative liver to body weight ratio. Feed intake was modified in broiler chickens with glucose in some instances. Average feed conversion and efficiency ratios are changed in GM-fed fish. All that makes a very coherent picture of Bt brinjal to be potentially unsafe for human consumption. It will be also potentially unsafe to eat animals who have these problems. These differences are most often not reported in the summaries of different experiments, but are present in the raw data, ”the study added.
Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini’s analysis of Mahyco’s Bt brinjal biosafety data – as submitted to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) – points out that the Bt brinjal produces a protein which can induce resistance to kanamycin, a well-known antibiotic, which could be a major health problem. The analysis was commissioned by Greenpeace.
It maybe noted here that on 14th Jan the Genetically Engineered Approval Committee (GEACE) is meeting in New Delhi to decide on the commercial release of the Bt Brinjal in the country.
Brinjal is a popular vegetable in India which is also widely used in Ayurveda (Ex: Indukantham ghritam, Danwantharam kwadham, Kantakaryavalehyam), Unani and Siddha.
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