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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/16/09

Apropos of Vilsack and Monsanto: Doctors in India point to genetic engineering's 'obsolete technology'

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Message Linn Cohen-Cole

With Vilsack's hearings going on, today seems a good day to look at what Monsanto, whom he strongly supports, is doing.  In India where Mayhco is Monsanto's distributor, doctors are questioning every aspect of genetically engineered food as well as the government accepting Mayhco's own studies that Bt-brinjal (eggplant) is safe.

Interesting piece where they just ran the numbers on health costs if only 1 in 1000 got sick.  The whole thing is so obviously not about health.  Government officials are selling out their countries right and left (wonder what the going rate is for sickening a whole country?).  Fears keep coming up that this is really about Kissinger's plans to reduce populations through illness and/or starvation, with infertility thrown in for good measure, I assume.  GE crops are already associated with infertility. Click here

In India, more than 180,00 farmers have killed themselves since our Big Ag corporations went in there, "knowing better how to farm."  In Maharashtra, the cotton belt, when Monsanto/Mayhco sold Bt-cotton, the deaths are the highest of all.  Farmers in India are committing suicide at the rate one every half hour.  Click here and here.

If the plan is to kill people, they are off to a good start. And what Monsanto and our government did to Iraqi farmers and the population ... demonic doesn't cover it.  Click here.

1. Doctors call for moratorium on GM crops
2. Scientists oppose Bt Brinjal cultivation
3. A review of Mayhco's GM Brinjal food safety studies, by Dr Judy Carman
4. Other news items from India

EXTRACT: ...if only 1 in 1,000 of exposed people later gets ill, or has an underlying illness made worse, then over a thousand million Indians would be ill and requiring treatment. This would result in a huge cost to the Indian government and community. It is therefore important to ensure that the safety assessment of GM brinal is sound and thoroughly covers all the major concerns of toxicology, allergy, and reproductive health. The studies presented by Mahyco are simply inadequate to determine these matters. (item 3)

1. Doctors for Food & Bio-Safety call for a moratorium on GM crops/foods
Press Release, January 14 2009

New Delhi: As the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) sits down today for a 'discussion on Bt Brinjal proposal under large scale trials' in the Ministry of Environment & Forests, eminent medical experts from across the country from a network called "Doctors for Food & Bio-Safety" called for a moratorium on all open air trials of GM crops in India. These experts, after perusing through the first independent analysis of Mahyco's biosafety data of Bt Brinjal by France's CRIIGEN, sent a resolution to the GEAC to this effect.

They pointed out that the French analysis of Mahyco's data adequately addresses and questions the validity of the so called bio-safety data of Bt Brinjal in terms of: validity of biological/ animal experiments carried out by the applicant incl. study design; Adequacy of bio-safety testing protocols used; Validity of statistical analyses carried out including sampling procedures; Glossing over/unscientific basis of overlooking important findings.

The doctors pointed out that the obsolete technology used in Bt Brinjal incorporating antibiotic resistant markers is likely to have disastrous implications for developing countries like India which are struggling with communicable diseases burden. This may jeopardize National Health Programmes for control of Tuberculosis (already struggling with MDR/ XDR tuberculosis), diarrhoeal diseases, sexually transmitted diseases etc.

They further observed that the decreased calorific content (15% lesser) in Bt Brinjal and altered consumption in different studies will mean impact on nutrition which an already malnourished public could avoid.

The changes in bilirubin indicate effect on hepatic functions. Study with lactating cows showed increased milk production indicating hormonal effects. If this is so, what are the implications on pregnancy, foetal health, reproductive functions etc. There is an obvious requirement for longer term studies especially on reproductive health. Absence of these aspects in Mahyco's dossiers is not acceptable, the doctors said.

In Ayurveda and Siddha, herbs are used according to the taste (Rasa), medicinal property of phyto-chemical (Guna), strength (Veerya), the end taste after digestion (Vipaaka Rasa) and synergistic medicinal property (Prabhaava). Any intrusion in the basic component of a drug may cause major change in the constitution of the drug, leading to unknown impacts. The difference in solamargine and solasonine is the clear evidence of loss of synergy and imbalance in the phytomolecules, which may largely affect the therapeutic and nutritive benefit of brinjal. There is no study as part of the impact assessment done to study related aspects, they pointed out.

The doctors endorsed Dr Pushpa Bhargava's comments on the regulators compromising objectivity by basing their approval processes based on data submitted by the applicant itself and emphasized the need for mandatory independent research by mandatory elaborate protocols including for long term research.

Meanwhile, another independent analysis from Institute of Health & Environmental Research, New Zealand (led by Dr Judy Carman) to be submitted to the Supreme Court soon, also concluded that the studies presented by Mahyco cannot be used to show that GM brinjal is safe to eat, particularly when population health issues are taken into account. This analysis points to insufficiency of the type of studies taken up for the safety assessment, that statistical results have not been reported to a suitable standard in addition to sample sizes being insufficient (type II errors).

For more information, contact: Dr G P I Singh at [0] 98-155-42987

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Met libertarian and conservative farmers and learned an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about government violations against them and against us all. The other side of the fence is nothing like what we've been (more...)
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