MNCs Wreaking Havoc Through GM Food: Dhumal

MNCs Wreaking Havoc Through GM Food: Dhumal
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal today cautioned against the "designs" of some multi- national companies "out to wreak havoc" in the country through genetically modified food and demanded "adequate restrictions" on these firms.

Addressing senior state officers, he also referred to the "media hype about swine flu" and sought to associate it with sale of drugs being manufactured by some companies.

"It is a matter of grave concern. GM seeds and food were responsible for causing physical disorders and deformity in human beings and the alleged nexus involving market forces has cleared the way for their making inroads into the country," he said.

Dhumal said multi-national companies were "controlling our agriculture and related economic activities indirectly."

He cautioned against the "designs" of some MNCs "out to wreak havoc" in the country through GM food and said the state government will consider the proposal for imposing moratorium on GM food even for more than 15 years apart from holding an international conference various issues concerning it.

Dhumal said according to a survey, the use of GM food had led to deformity among children and the fertility age of women had reduced drastically in Punjab.

The Chief Minister said it was quite surprising and disturbing that a country of more than 120 crore people had become "helpless" before the "network of seed mafia and GM food" and obsolete technology was being imported by India on the "terms and conditions dictated by other countries".

He also referred to the "swine flu hype" and alleged that some "dishonest people sitting in WHO" had tried to spread panic in India about the diseases due to the "hidden agenda" of selling some medicines manufactured by some companies.

Eminent bio-technologist and former Vice Chairman of National Knowledge Commission P M Bhargava in his keynote address said GM food had more than 60 adverse affects on the health of human beings and called for making the country free from these crops.

"GM crops not only affect the soil potential but could also be one of the causes of dreaded diseases like cancer," he said. Referring to the organic farming, Bhargava said this new concept was fast gaining popularity.

"Multinational companies are making sustained efforts to take over the farm sector by supplying the so-called hybrid seeds," Bhargava said and demanded 15 years moratorium on the use of GM crops.

Replying to a question, he said out of 30 tests supposed to be conducted on GM crops, only five-six had been done as there were no laboratories in the country. He claimed he had prepared a blue-print for setting up a laboratory for these tests but the Centre was sitting over it.
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