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New Reports Spell Out Vices of GM Food

Friday, January 16, 2009
BANGALORE - The national debate on genetically modified food seems to be gaining momentum in states as well.

Two recently launched international reports on the health impact of GM food were released on Thursday by GM-free Karnataka Coalition as part of the `I am No Labrat pan-India people's campaign.'

One report, commissioned by the Austrian government and conducted by the University of Vienna, revealed that GM could cause infertility. Another independent analysis of the `Effects on Health and Environment of Transgenic (genetically modified) Bt Brinjal' conducted by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini of France concluded that Bt Brinjal's release could pose a risk to health and the environment.

Divya Raghunandan, campaigns director, Greenpeace, emphasizing the recent Austrian government study, said: "It is the same corn that's being field-tested in the country now. It may take a few years or even a generation to see the impact of GM. By then it will be too late because the effects are irreversible."

Prof. 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.

According to Kodihalli Chandrashekar, president of Karnataka State Farmers' Union, it is imperative that the State Government now takes an active role in understanding the seriousness and stopping GM crops immediately.

Copyright © 2009 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Source: The Times of India