Even though GM foods in the form of Bt Brinjal are looming large over your plate (where bacterial genes have been inserted into the brinjal plant unnaturally, with the claim that specific insect-killing toxins will be produced within the plant and that farmers will not have to use much pesticides), many consumers in India are not even aware of GM (Genetically Modified) foods.
These GM foods are created by taking genes from unrelated organisms pretty often cutting through the species/kingdom barriers [bacterial, viral and animal genes in plants etc.] and the very process of random forcible insertion of such genes causes molecular level changes/mutations with unpredictable and irreversible results. Some of the results apparent from scientific studies include health impacts like organ damage (kidney, liver, intestines, brain etc.), cellular level changes, adverse effects on growth and development of an organism and even inter-generational effects.
In India, the biotech industry is claiming that they are now ready to introduce Bt Brinjal in the markets on a commercial basis. No such genetically modified vegetable that is more or less directly consumed exists anywhere else. We are the Centre of Origin & Diversity for brinjal and with the introduction of Bt Brinjal, native diversity is threatened.
Further, brinjal is known to have medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of Type B Diabetes, for instance. It is also used in ayurveda. The impacts of Bt Brinjal are unknown and unpredictable. All decision making so far has happened based on the company’s data and there is no independent research to show that this is safe for consumption and on other fronts.
Also remember, if Bt Brinjal is allowed into India, there will be no choices left for consumers. Even if you do not choose to eat Bt Brinjal, you cannot distinguish it from normal brinjals in the market! Don’t you think that food safety and choice is your basic right??
If you do not want to become a lab rat in this big unaccountable experiment driven by profit-hungry corporations on our food and farming, ACT NOW. Join thousands of other Indians in a massive consumer campaign called “I AM NO LAB RAT”. Visit www.iamnolabrat.com and send a petition to the Union Health Minister reminding him that our health is his responsibility and there is no basis on which the Ministry can allow Bt Brinjal into the country.
Hoping that all of you will act on this now… Send the petition to the health minister and forward this letter to all your friends…