ISIS Report 28/01/08
BT Allergy in North India Crying Out for Attention
Dr. Sudhir Kumar Kauraís impassioned plea
As follow up to your articles More
Illnesses Linked to Bt Crops, and Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt
Cotton (SiS 30) describing health problems associated with genetically
modified (GM) Bt cotton in India, I draw your attention to further symptoms
of allergy reported this year in Sadalpur Village near Hisar in Haryana State,
India. Farmers say skin itching is very common and even buffaloes and dogs are
The itching started to appear during the Bt cotton season this year. The village
Ayurvedic Hospital Compounder says that on average, 10 cases of skin allergy/itching
symptoms in humans come to the hospital every day, and there is an increasing
trend over the past three or so years. Even cotton factory workers in the area
are complaining of an itching problem. Itching is observed mainly on the skin
and in reproductive organs.
Animals are also
affected. On average, 5-10 cases of skin allergy/itching in buffaloes are
presented at the village veterinary hospital daily.
Thousands of sheep
have died in Andhra Pradesh in past years, but there is still no real action
on the part of Indian Government. Even the local and national media are not
paying any attention to this problem. We have asked the local and national
TV channels and newspapers to investigate into the problem caused by Bt cotton
in humans and animals.
I am really afraid
for the future of India and our farmers. Sooner or later, the effects of transgenic
pollution will be more pronounced and will affect people who do not live in
cotton fields or villages next to cotton fields.
Why do we still allow
Bt cotton to be grown in India? Isnít the death of thousands of sheep enough
for us to wake up and speak and support the truth?
How can the scientific
community be so dead to issue like deaths and health problems due to Bt cotton?
I am really ashamed at the silence of scientific community though I am one
In India, we are
really fed up with the insensitivity of our Government and other regulatory
authorities. People say that India is one of the largest democracies, but
I feel we do not deserve this reputation if that means the Government cannot
protect its citizens against this poisonous crop.
Sudhir Kumar Kaura is a geneticist and biotechnologist based in Hisar, Haryana
State, India, and can be contacted at Tel: 09354172987 in India and 00919354172987
from outside India. E-mail: email@example.com