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Doctors caution against genetically modified food Express News Service
NEW DELHI : Renowned filmmaker and social activist Mahesh Bhatt, in his first foray as anchor in the new film 'Poison on the Platter' directed by Ajay Kanchan, has attacked biotech multinational companies and their nexus with regulatory bodies.

He has accused the MNCs for unleashing what he describes as 'bio-terrorism' in the country. Bhatt said: "In their mad rush to capture the multi-billion dollar Indian agricultural and food industry, the biotech MNCs are bulldozing warnings by scientists about the adverse impact of GM foods on health and environment, and hurtling  mankind towards a disaster, which will be far more destructive than anything the world has seen so far, simply because it will affect every single person living on this planet."

Bhatt's film makes a mockery of the Indian government's claim of not allowing import of any GM foods in the country as it conclusively demonstrates that supermarkets in India are flooded with harmful food stuff and biotech MNCs are cashing in on the ignorance of unsuspecting consumers in India.

"Indians are unfortunately kept in dark, and the corporations are hatching strategies to cash in on their ignorance. Poison on the Platter is, therefore, an attempt to generate awareness among consumers and kick start an informed debate on the issue", said Bhatt.

Trials of GM foods on lab animals across the world have repeatedly shown that they cause bleeding stomachs, and adversely affect brain, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas and intestine. They have been even linked to higher offspring mortality and causing infertility.

"Are we ready to eat a food that has the potential to stunt our growth, impair our immune system and adversely affect all our vital organs", asks Ajay Kanchan, director of the documentary, adding that "It's shocking that instead of protecting the interests of farmers and consumers, regulatory bodies in India are pandering to the greed of biotech MNCs like Monsanto, whose track record is littered with lies, deceptions and notorious ability to corrupt the regulatory bodies all over the world".

"I can say with absolute confidence that there is irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that genetically engineered foods are harmful and that they are not being evaluated properly by the governments of India , United States , the European Union, or anywhere in the world," said Jeffrey M. Smith, Founder Director, Institute of Responsible Technology and author of two widely respected books on health impact of GM foods – Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, adding that "this is one of the most dangerous technologies ever introduced on earth, and it's being deployed in our food supply. It's madness, what we need is a political willingness to say no more".

Concluding a panel discussion following the screening of the film, Mahesh Bhatt said, "We cannot remain a mute spectator and let the biotech companies fill their coffers by using our bodies as their slaves in India . If the Government and regulatory bodies continue to ignore warnings by scientists and release any GM food crop, I won't mind spearheading a countrywide campaign on the scale that India has not seen since the days of Independent movement for one simple reason that we all feel hungry and we can't live without eating food."

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