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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BT-Brinjal the bio war on India

Is it Government sponsored terrorism or government approved bio war?

I would like to bring to the common man’s reach certain activities which are going to affect him and the planet in the long run and of which he is totally unaware. These activities are going on either with the tacit connivance or active cooperation of those in power as well as the higher authorities and institutions of the academic world. This preamble leads naturally to two pertinent questions

What are these activities?
Where it is going on?

1. The controversial BT cotton.
The controversial BT Brinjal.
2.Taking place in several acres of the poor Indian farmars’ lands.

The people of this country and all those who are interested in the BIODIVERSITY need answers and clear cut explanations from the sponsors of this activity to the following: -

Scientific doubts and unanswered questions on BT BRINJAL are much more dangerous than BT cotton because it is going to enter into your digestive system

Beware of BT Brinjals

“Science without conscience is but ruin of the soul” wrote Francois Rabelais. We allow all types of havocs, to wreck the population, out of both ignorance and indifference. After the havoc takes place we give juicy explanations, have debates and start the blame game. The very thought of allowing untested BT Brinjals sends shivers down the collective spine of innocent millions who would be consuming it unaware of the possible dangers it can have on the health. Bureaucrats are either chicken hearted or operate with childish knowledge, media lacks the gall to oppose for fear of losing advertisement revenue from the perpetrators of these activities, at least scientist must extricate themselves from the shell of academicism and provide a welcome antidote by boldly spelling out the possible health hazards. Now that we have information explosion, let us use the full potential of our limbic brains and prevent the havoc instead of searching for cures and culprits after the havoc.

We have clear cut right not to allow BT Brinjals it as per

1] Cartagena Protocol, which demands an extra-cautious approach for testing GM varieties in regions where the crop originated.

1a] Peru, where potato originated, and Mexico, original home of corn, have a ban on genetic testing of these two. This comes from the fear that the alien gene, mostly sourced from other species, could escape (in some instances it indeed has) from the modified varieties, and contaminate the crop’s entire natural genetic diversity

2] Brinjal originated in INDIA-

2a] I.S. Bisht, a principal scientist at the Delhi-based National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, asserts that Solanum melongena L (the botanical name for brinjal) originated in the wild in India and adjoining areas—a view seconded by noted food historian K.T. Achaya, who also states that brinjal is an indigenous vegetable that originated from a wild ancestor. The bureau has acquired and conserved as many as 2,500 varieties of brinjal, 95 per cent of them from India.

2b] 4th century BC brinjal recipe from Ettuthogai, an ancient Tamil text: Smear green brinjal with gingelly oil. Roast it on charcoal and then peel it. Mash it when cold. Heat some more gingelly oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, crushed pepper corns, ginger powder and chopped fresh ginger. Finally, add the mashed brinjal and cook briefly till well-blended. (Courtesy: Jacob Aruni)

2c] the history of the popular Sode Matha temple, in Karnataka’s Udupi district, is inseparable from the vegetable. Poisoned, Lord Hayavadana asked for a naivedyam prepared from a special type of brinjal called gulla. That variety is now widely known as ‘mattu gulla’, the former being the name of the village where it was first cultivated

2d] Brinjal is even older than Sanskrit, which had to borrow the word ‘vartaka’ and ‘vrntaka’ from the Munda language

3] Greatness of Brinjal. Dr. James S. McLester, well-known professor of medicine at the University of Alabama and one of the pioneers in treating nutritional deficiencies, says: "If a man would enjoy sustained vigor and would experience his normal expectancy ... he must eat a liberal quantity of good protein." Good protein means, of course, a complete protein-one containing all 10 essential amino acids and Brinjal has almost all the essential amino acids Arginine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Methonine, Crystine, Theonine, Cystine, Threonine, Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. It also has vitamins Thiamine , Riboflavin , Niacin ,Panthothenic acid, VitaminC , folic acid and minerals Calcium,Iron,Magnesium Phosphorus,Potassium,Zinc and Manganese. Eggplant is ranked among the top ten vegetables in terms of its antioxidant content and has fourteen different phenolic components, among them Chlorogenic acid amounted to 93 percent of total phenolic compounds.It helps to block the formation of free radicals and yields energy 82 kj. The roots of the eggplant are used against internal hemorrhage and asthma; the leaves and bark against dysentery. This plant is also effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and in the control of cholesterol

4] Brinjal is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g.

5] Brinjal is high in histamines. A few proteins and at least one secondary metabolite have been identified as potential allergens. These three factors essential amino acids, nicotine and histamines make any gene inserted into BRINJAL really deadly to the person who consumes it as it can get into the vital body organs and cause damage to health much faster.

6] Genes inserted into GM food survive digestive processes and are transferred into the human body. They are known to have transferred themselves into intestinal bacteria too. Bt toxin had caused powerful immune responses and abnormal cell growth in mice. It has also been shown that all the Cry proteins in Bt crops have amino acid sequence similar to known allergens and are hence potential allergens.

7] Bt brinjal has been modified to produce an
unknown chimeric insecticide toxin containing Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac modified sequences

8] Bt brinjal produces into the vegetable cells a protein
inducing resistance towards at least kanamycin, a well known antibiotic

9] Is it necessary to have such crop in our system at the cost of economy of small
farmers, export, environment, biodiversity and health of living beings? The biased people may stack their claim that it is safer for human consumption as there may not be much pesticide residue. But the real thing is something serious one which was not touched while experimenting.

10] Bt toxins have never been authorized as such for mammalian consumption.
Artificial ones should not be either, before a more serious assessment.

11] Scientists discover influenza's Achilles heel: Antioxidants
As the nation copes with a shortage of vaccines for H1N1 influenza, a team of Alabama researchers have raised hopes that they have found an Achilles' heel for all strains of the flu—antioxidants. In an article appearing in the November 2009 print issue of the FASEB Journal ( they show that antioxidants—the same substances found in plant-based foods—might hold the key in preventing the flu virus from wreaking havoc on our lungs.
If it is so will Brinjal work as it is ranked among the top ten vegetables in terms of its antioxidant content and has fourteen different phenolic components, among them Chlorogenic acid amounted to 93 percent of total phenolic compounds

Political questions
1.India is having well planned system, at least that is what we all thought till recently, how come this BT cotton or BT Brinjal enter so many acres of our soil by passing so many existing research, administrative and security system.
Here I am tempted to quote from an article titled GENE DREAM written by NIKKI VAN DER GAAG in the excellent magazine THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST , “ Biotechnology actually reduces the world's biodiversity by promoting certain species over others. Of the world's 220,000 plant species, only 150 are grown commercially and just 20 provide over 90 per cent of the world's dietary energy. We are already massively over-dependent on a fraction of the species available. Genetically-engineered (and transnational-controlled) seeds will reduce this active stock even further. 5 Farmers in countries such as India are setting up their own seed banks in order to preserve the existing variety of seeds rather than having to use those promoted by the biotechnology corporations, for whom the Third World is a huge potential market”.

Think of the Data from the past
In the late 60s and early 70s due to cotton pest Baruch district’s economy suffered.
Are we interested in repeating a BARUCH OR GUNTOOR on the poor farmers?

What has happened to the consciousness of our academicians? Are they suffering from what MANWELL and BAKER called the PARALYSIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS i.e. failure to speak out the truth out of fear of consequences, out of ambiguity or ambivalence about the definitions or interpretations of ethical problems, and, of course engaging in cover up. If this becomes the case then in the long run the very importance of academic excellence and scholarship will be eroded. After all to disseminate facts you don’t need paradigm-busting ideas of scholars or tags of PhDs to your name. All that you need is a heart felt concern for the future of the planet.

Finally I would like all concerned citizens to ponder over the following
Which was drafted by the UK council for posterity initially by a gentleman called Professor Scorer and a group of other concerned people like ecologist Herbie Girardet, Tanya Schwarz of the Forest Peoples’ Support Group, Guy Dauncey environmental consultant and Nicolas Albery of the Institute of Social Inventions.

(DRAFT, JULY 1989)

Whereas our descendants’ generations, although likely to prove far more numerous than ourselves, have no voice or vote in any of our political systems, we therefore declare that all the generations yet to come, for as far into the future as human life survives on this planet, are entitled by natural justice to the following rights, which those alive today have a duty to respect and uphold:

1.The right to inherit a planet that has been treated by its human occupants with the utmost respect. And more particularly:
2.The right to inherit a planet with oceans, lakes and atmosphere undamaged by human activity, with safeguards for planet’s climate, such as rainforests, still intact.
3.The right to inherit a planet with an undiminished diversity of species.
4.The right to inherit adequately maintained reserves of fossil fuel and other mineral resources.
5.The right to be born into world of human-scale societies, unravaged by population excess.
6.The right to inherit a world unmarred by nuclear or chemical wars, incidents or wastes.
7.The right to expect that previous generations will have cleaned up their pollution, repaired their
damaged environments, on land, sea and in the air ( including outer space), and protected places of natural beauty.
8.The right to inherit political, legal, technological and social systems that respect individual human dignity, such as those laid out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
9.The right to inherit the full uncensored cultural heritage bequeathed by former generations, as expressed, for instance, in their art, history, literature, libraries and museums.
10.The right of future generations to have their interests considered and, where appropriate, represented by a competent advocate, in any present day tribunal or assembly that is deciding courses of action that might have harmful log-term consequences.

Scientific doubts and unanswered questions on BT COTTON especially in terms of long term damage to the top soil and the allergic reactions.

1. The gene flow through pollen grains of BT cotton will take place and this will affect other cotton varieties as well as allied species in due course and affect biodiversity.
2 . BT genes produce toxins that kill the early larval stages of insects. The nature of the toxin is not made known to us i.e. endo-toxin or exo-toxin.
3. The exo toxin is highly hazardous and it couples with ATP( Adenosine Triphosphate) and affect the energy metabolism and it may even cause the death of higher animals.
4. The root exudates of the plant will also carry the toxin into the soil and it will have its effects on the soil and soil borne organisms.
5. Since soil contains many useful organisms this chemical may affect the useful organisms and thereby interfere with the biodiversity in the soil.
6. Since the cotton seed is used in feeding cattle and cotton seed proteins are used in biscuit making, it is most likely that this toxin may carry over in food cycle and have its unspecified effects which could be detrimental to health especially that of the children who eat biscuits.
7. Cotton seed oil is used in cooking and we don’t have any information whether this oil is contaminated with this toxin.
8. We don’t know what is the amount of toxin present in unit area. Even if one microgram of toxin is present in one square centimeter of the plant surface that will ultimately amount to several kgs of toxins and this will be ploughed in situ and its effect on the environment is not known..
9. Besides this toxin is capable of killing only early larval stage it is not effective against other stages of insect larva .The grown up larva that feeds on these material will develop resistance and it will interbreed in the nature system and produce new races of insects that may not be tackled by existing means of control thereby it will create a great loss to the economy. “The results of genetically engineered crops are at best mixed and at worst disastrous. Both weeds and insects in the surrounding areas have been known to develop immunities which turn them into superweeds and superpests”.
10. In North Zone crop will be over before start of summer and dust storm will come and it may carry the BT containing dust particles of cotton residue and leaves.

A letter from a leading scientist Na ruteh shrantasya sakhayay devaha-God does not help inactive people” - Rig Veda (4.33.11)

‘Sri Vaishnava Sri’
23, Maniyakarar Street, Veerakeralam, Coimbatore-641 007, Tamil Nadu, India
E- Mail :<> Phone: 0422-2473853

October 23/24, 2009

Honorable Shri.Jairam Ramesh,
Union Minister,
Ministry of Environment & Forests,
Paryavaran Bhavan,
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi - 110 003
E-Mail: “Hon.Shri .Jairam Ramesh”<> ,

Respected Sir.

Pranam JI
I salute and bow my head Sir for having taken a decision not to hurry up with a transgenic crop and having given an opportunity to the public and stake holders to open their minds to give their unbiased views on such crops.
Sir your earlier statement that ‘GM crop is acceptable but GM food is not’ is the best one made by keeping the health of 120 cores of Indian and finest bio diversity of our country in the mind. As one of the citizens of this Nobel Country with the base intelligence I submit the following for your kind notice.

The Genetic improvement of crops by conventional and biotechnology approaches involves the addition of genetic variation to varieties and cause changes in the plant genome that result in unintended effects on crop traits. But the screening processes help to have the varieties with desirable traits.The dwarf gene in wheat and Rice besides making them highly fertiliser responsive laid the foundation for Green revolution and prevented starvation death of billion people around the world particularly the Indian sub continent.Thanks to Dr.Norman Borlaug. The fertilizer responsiveness made the mankind to over do in the system to cause an irreversible damage to the Agro system. Similarly with cotton where we advocated the use of pesticides saying that they have “Tonic effects” and increase the productivity. But over, indiscriminate use led into collapse of the system with unintended health hazards to human beings. These are all due to existence of very little knowledge on the biochemistry and changed plant metabolism under these situation and mono culture which replaced the existing polycrop system in those days.

The 21 stTechnological Century provides us various tools to study and assess the biological mechanism with ease. The Chinese group of scientists have elicited how the Bt- gene has modified the nitrogen metabolism and increased the free amino acid, soluble protein, nitrate reductase and the glutamic-pyruvic transaminase activity in cotton (Chen, D.H. et al.Field Crops Res. 87: 235- 244 2004). Such of these basic informations will aid for developing appropriate agronomy which may not go against the wellbeing of the system and will help to keep our system intact to some extent.
The transfer of genes into plants is one of the breeding methods like hybridization and mutagenesis and cannot be ignored or discarded as this mode help to transfer specific gene into the matrix of the plant cell for getting a desired effect with in short time span. The advance made in the field of gene transfer enabled the mankind to introduce the Bt-gene to the crop easily (Perlak, F.J et al..Proce. Natl. Acad.Sci, USA 91: 7217-7221, 1994) and get quick benefit as against other methods. But there are some known and unknown implications that are woven with this method and crops developed.

It has been conclusively established that the BT material exudes Bt proteins through roots into the soil and gets accumulated to interact with the soil fauna. The insecticidal toxin binds tightly to clays and humic acids and persisting in various soils for at least 234 days like DDT. We took several decades to ban the use of DDT in our India as it has caused several irrevocable Ecological and health hazards. The same effects are likely to descend to our dynamic agro system with transgenic crops.They besides creating the ecological problems that are associated with monoculture agriculture may result in cumulative effects of toxins in soils. The Scientists of Indian Institute of Agriculture Reseach (IARI), New Delhi have brought to light that the transgenic crop (Bt) has reduced the total mineral-N+ NO3 -N) in soil by 14 % and enhanced P besides reducing Dehydrogenase activity, and respiration of our own soil indicating that there is reduced activity of soil microflora (B. Sarkar et al., J. Agronomy & Crop Science
194, 2008.). About seventy five percent of total area under cotton in our country is under the transgenic materials and we do not know what is happening in our soil in these areas in our system. If the soil ecosystem and its species dynamic are affected it is difficult even to imagine what type of catastrophe will embrace our country and her finest biodiversity.

The Bt materials are known to carry unknown fragments of RNA and DNA genetic material and new proteins, but whose biological effects particularly toxicity and allergic action for humans and animals are not fully brought to light. It has been reported that the unintended DNA and RNA fragments in genetically modified maize may bring some “unexpected turbulences” (Rosati et al. Plant Molecular Biology, 67: 271- 281(2008), and whether the presence of these fragments are specific to certain Bt genes are not known. It has been reported recently that orally administered DNA is known to interact with the Immune system and if it is so what will be the effect of food containing the unintended DNA is also not known. Scientists have evaluated the gut and peripheral immune response to genetically modified maize in mice and found recurrent changes in the immune system (Finamore et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:11533-11539, (2008) like T-cells). Such  changes in the number of a special type of lymphocytes ( T-cells are known to be involved in the modulation of inflammatory response and associated with asthma or with untreated food allergy in children. Alterations of the Immunopheno types induced by the transgenic maize were associated with the increase in some cytokines (like Interleukin 6 (IL-6), Interleukin 13, Interleukin 12p70 and MIP-1) which are important in the human immune response (Finamore et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:11533-11539, (2008). It is note worthy that Scientists have also traced fragments of synthetic transgenes in the blood of piglets fed with transgene food.( Mazza et al. Transgenic Research ,14: 775-784,2005) and feared that these may interact with the immune system .

Laboratory animals fed GM foods have developed stomach lesions, intestinal damage, and proliferative cell growth in the walls of the stomach and intestines. The only published human feeding experiment has revealed that the genes inserted into GM soya crops transfer into the intestinal bacteria and continue to function even after stopping to eat GM foods and this indicates that the GM proteins continuously producing in the human bodies.

GM soya and GM corn both contain at least one new unexpected allergen not found in natural crops.

Mice and rats fed GM food had resulted in smaller and partially atrophied livers and in some heavier which could signal inflammation.
Both male and female animals displayed troubling reproductive problems when fed GM soya Over half of the babies of mother rats fed GM soya died within three weeks, compared to 10 percent of the non-GM soy offspring. The GM babies were smaller and were unable to conceive in a subsequent study. Male rats and mice fed GM soy had altered testicles, including fewer young sperm cells. (American Academy of Environmental Medicine & Respected most honored sir,

I am very happy at my 70 that you have kept up your finest decision “GM crop is acceptable but GM food is not”and saved the population, environment biodiversity and country and provided health security to your kith and kins.

I do not know how to express my gratitude and thank you. Your action equals to Sri Rama’s action.Jai Shri Ram!

India is no more a laboratory and her finest people are not Guinea Pigs or Laboratory animals.

Let our scientists to make critical study of our crop diversity and feed not only the human living in this divine country and also other needy people in other countries as it has potential to feed two planet Earths “With Assured irrigation, India's food grains output can increase SIX times and enough to feed two planet Earths”!(United Nation).

Give direction to the scientific community to stop working with insertion of alien particularly toxic genes into our crop plants.Let them try the TILLING /ZINIC-NUCLEASE methods for manipulation of genes with in the species itself for getting the desired traits as these may not trouble our system.
Thanking you sir,
Yours Faithfully,

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