Deccan Development Society, SAGE in collaboration with Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Aid India, Chetana Organic organized a Brinjal festival in Hyderabad on 8th March 2009 to create awareness in the urban consumers on the impacts of GM foods in general and Bt brinjal in specific
The Brinjal Festival in hyderabad is one of the first of its kind drew huge response from the citizens and media. The festival showcased more than 140 indigenous varieties of brinjals collected from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Orissa, which turned out to be visual extravaganza for Hyderabadees. This festival revived the forgotten memories of the elder people who shared with the rest of the visitors about the native brinjals of their own places from different parts of the country, especially Southern India. More than 3000 people visited the stalls, which were adorned with the posters showing the alternatives to Bt brinjal, more than 140 varieties of brijals from different states, sources of organic foods, recipes made of brinjals, health implications of GM foods on mammals, besides showing the videos viz., Jeffrery Smith's presentation on the health implications of GM foods, Poison on the Platter (a documentary made by Mahesh Bhatt, on the health implications of GM foods on humans). On 7th we organised a cooking festival which also drew huge response.
Among the dignitaries who visited this festival were, Dr P M Bhargava (Founder Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and currently an invitee to GEAC) and Dr M V Rao (Former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Dr J Venkateswarlu (former Director of CRIDA).
The Festival also exhibited many Organic Food stalls containing various mouth watering millet recipes from Cafe Ethnic an organic millet restaurant which is run by the women sanghams of Deccan Development Society.
Some Media Coverage.
The Hindu on 09/03/2009 - Click here
Andhra Jyothi on 09/03/2009 - Click here
Sakshi on 09/03/2009 - Click here
Eenadu on 09/03/2009 - Click here
Why this festival?
You may probably remember two recent controversial issues that have a direct bearing on our health viz., Pesticide residues in cool drinks and Fat content in our cooking oils. Even before our memory fades from these issues, we are up into a something new and more dangerous than the above two in the form of Bt Brinjals.
Brinjal is native to India and is a favourite vegetable in many Indian States. It is now facing a threat in the form Bt Brinjal- a genetically modified form of our most beloved vegetable, Baingan. Bt-brinjal looks exactly like the brinjals we buy from the market and feed our children without suspecting that it may cause health problems to all of us.
A recent study done by a French Scientist reveals that,
It is time that all consumers to take note of this issue and to raise our concern and voice against these crops and reject all the GM crops that are sneaking silently into our food systems.
- Bt Brinjal produces a protein which induces resistance to Kanamycin (a common antibiotic). We will have to resort to higher levels of antibiotics to rid ourselves of infections! Thus even without realizing it, we will get onto the treadmill of antibiotics.
- Rats fed on these Bt Brinjals suffered from Diarrhea, lower lever weights, and increased water consumption
- Rabbits refused to consume as they normally consumes non GM brinjals
- In Cows fed with Bt Brinjal, the milk composition changed
- The biosafety tests on animals were done only for 90 days, which is much lesser than the lifespan of common mice (2 years) to ascertain the biosafety of these foods., etc....