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A Monthly Newsletter | www.mygreencode.com | September 2010

Not For Sale, For Private Circulation Only

SELF | COMMUNITY | EARTH

Green Is The New Black, "ECO" Is The Way To Be The key word in todays market is Eco.. Be it soap, toothpaste, clothes, watch, houses, cars, comps and now even software. I don't know how much of this really works but the contemporary lifestyles makes it a feel good factor when i use an "eco" product. And we all know it sells! On the other side of the spectrum there are a number of NGO and various Wildlife and environment activists who have been creating awareness on being ecologically friendly for many years now. And I personally have seen many people sacrifice their entire time towards this cause. But when it comes to questioning the integrity of these issues, it is the NGO's who are questioned.. The brands or the products are not!!!!?? What surprised me in the recent times is small hypes that are created make individuals feel they have done their bit for protecting the environment. Like for example there was this Earth Hour a hour-long event aimed at raising awareness of global warming where lights were off for that one hour. Imitating this many countries followed a similar thing. And the Google black... the new Black version of Google where the screen is black and consumes only 59watts as compared to the white web page uses about 74 watts to display. I know it's vast... Because just take at look at Google, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let's assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. That turns into a global savings of 8.3 Megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 Megawatthours a year. It is huge.. Very huge.. But is that all??? One personal contribution and your "eco"??????? Without doubt both these events were successful and i do not question its integrity. I heartily appreciate what they did. But the question is..is that all??? You definitely feel like a very ecologically friendly person after doing this but after this your lifestyle goes back to what you do on normal bases. Why??? Is that the maximum you can do??? What more??? What next???

How to get toxic chemicals out of your bathroom

The Pros and Cons of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) 5 easy ways to go green at work Four places to cut your carbon

Sustainable Shopper ’s Guide

Lots of weird ingredients are added to bath and body products. And most people use about 10 of them a day – on your skin, absorbed in your body, and washed down the drain. You probably know some ingredients are bad for you. But did you know that about 1 in 8 ingredients is an industrial chemical? They make you feel squeaky clean, but they could cause problems – big ones like cancer, reproduction problems, and hormone

Fascinating Daroji, Asia’s first sloth bear sanctuary under threat! Western Ghats “Unpublished Tour” Western Ghats UnPublished Tour" offers you the opportunity to explore, experience and learn about a magical land with whispering palms and white sands...


Sustainable Shopper’s Guide to a Dirty Dozen Ingredients to Avoid in your Cosmetics BHA and BHT: In moisturizer, makeup, etc. May cause cancer and interfere with hormone function. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

DIBUTYL PHTHALATE: In nail products. Toxic to reproduction and may interfere with hormone function. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Coal tar dyes: Look for P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE in hair dyes, and colours identified as “C.I.” followed by five digits in other products. Potential to cause cancer and can be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: Look for DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, METHENAMINE, or QUARTERNIUM-15 Widely used in hair products, moisturizers, etc. Formaldehyde causes cancer.

CYCLOMETHICONE and siloxanes: Widely used in moisturizer, makeup, hair products, etc. May interfere with hormone function and damage the liver. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Parabens: Widely used in makeup, moisturizers, etc. May interfere with hormone function. Associated with breast cancer.

6. PHENYLENEDIAMINE

Are there to

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DEA, MEA and TEA: In creamy and foaming products such as moisturizer, shampoo. Can react to form cancer-causing nitrosamines. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

PARFUM: Widely used even in some products marketed as “unscented” (often the last ingredient). Mixture of chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.

5

easy ways to go green at work

Sitting in our artificially-lit offices surrounded by walls, it's easy to forget that we're all interconnected. Yet every day we depend on nature: we print on paper from the forest, burn fossil fuels to heat our buildings, and energize our bodies with food grown in the soil, so we have what it takes to get up and go to work each day. And we depend on each other to get our jobs done. What if going to work meant making the world a better, healthier, safer place? What if bringing your eco-values to work actually helped your organization save time and money? Here's how to get your green work life going: 1. Commute smarter * Walking and cycling are the healthiest greenest and healthiest options. * Take public transportation — buy bulk passes to save money. * If you must drive, carpool, car share and eco-drive. * Choose hybrid rentals and taxis.

PEG: Widely used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. PETROLATUM: In hair products, lip balm/lipstick, skin care products. Petroleum product that can be contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) and SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS): In products that foam such as shampoo, cleansers, bubble bath. SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. SLS may damage liver. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. TRICLOSAN: In “anti-bacterial” products such as toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitizers. May interfere with hormone function and contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

EDITORIAL "GreenCode" Based on the concept of “SELF COMMUNITY EARTH” the magazine is for readers who are eco conscious and aimed at sustainable lifestyle at every level. The magazine has a commitment to be a platform to profile individuals, organizations, causes, issues and solutions that represent eco sustainable vision in the society and can both encourage and provide role models to the society aiming to be a vessel to inform this generation about ecosustainable principles in everyday life/business and will encourage interaction among the readers as eco-conscious people. Our mission is to promote the concept of "eco sustainable communities" in the workplace. My Green Code #62, Venkateshware Arcade 2nd Floor, Laxmana Mudaliar Street, Commercial Street 2nd Cross, Bangalore - 1 Tel: 91-80-41464381 Mail: info@witnessmedia.net website : www.mygreencode.com

2. Save energy * If you're not using it — lights, computer monitors, whatever — turn it off. * Enable energy saving settings on all equipment. * Unplug energy vampires — cell phone chargers, calculators — anything with an LED display. * Plug equipment into power bars and turn those off until needed. 3. Live healthier * Choose foods that are local, organic and sustainable for meetings, lunches and catered events. * Get rid of toxic cleaners and personal products in your office kitchens and bathrooms. Make your own! * Add air-filtering plants to your workspace. * Take the stairs instead of the elevators. 4. Waste less * Set 'double sided' as the default setting on your printer(s). * Go electronic instead of using hard copies: phone or email, use overheads and power point presentations, get e-subscriptions, and use web resources. * Switch to cloth towels and napkins in kitchens and bathrooms. * Turn kitchen scraps into food for office plantings — start composting. 5. Conserve water * Ban bottled water. Use a stainless steel commuter cup. * Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap. * Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher, * Don't pour water down the drain — use it to water plants. These are just a few of the green strategies you can take to work with you — there are lots more!

SELF | COMMUNITY | EARTH

Please send your comments and suggestions to editor@mygreencode.com

"Western Ghats Unpublished" Tour DreamCatcher's "Western Ghats UnPublished Tour" offers you the opportunity to explore, experience and learn about a magical land with whispering palms and white sands...of idyllic backwaters and placid lagoons ... of rain forests and breathtaking hill stations amongst cloud-capped mountains ...a land where culture is steeped in tradition ... where myth and legend go hand in hand with fairs and festivals...where craft & culture... music & dance ...temples & tribes... have deep rooted associations with nature... a land we love … The Western Ghats stretch out like a mountainous spine for around 1400 kms from the north of Mumbai, across Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, before petering out at the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu. These hills, with an average elevation of around 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), cover 1,60,000 km² and form the catchment area for a complex of river systems that drain almost 40% of India. The Western Ghats are one of the world’s ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" with over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats, along with several tribal groups whose traditional lifestyle is fast being eroded. The Nilgiri Bio-sphere is home to the largest population of Asian Elephants and forms an important Project Elephant and Project Tiger reserve. The largest population of India's Tigers outside the Sundarbans is in the unbroken forests bordering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The destinations in this tour are chosen primarily based on experiences and activities available. We give you the highest quality guides available with excellent and accurate interpretive information about our culture and our fast changing natural environment. We provide stay in well chosen resorts or at local or more traditional accommodations. In places where accommodation is unavailable, we are happy to create tented-living spaces. We worry about your safety and security and meticulously plan and operate each trip. Join us. www.dreamcatcher.co.in


Fascinating Daroji, Asia’s first sloth bear sanctuary under threat! Hampi near Hospet, in Bellary district is a renowned world heritage centre. The unique Sloth Bear sanctuary is situated very close to this heritage site. Situated only 15 kilometers from Hampi, Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in North Karnataka. Asia’s first sloth bear sanctuary at Daroji in Bellary district is under severe threat as the State Government, by violating environmental norms, has granted permission for a major steel plant around its vicinity. It has also begun the process of land acquisition. Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years. The rock-strewn hillocks that stretch between Daroji of Sandur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Bellary district have been the abode of Indian Sloth Bears since ages. In October 1994, the Government of Karnataka declared 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary. Geographically, it is located between 15o 14' to 15o 17' N latitude and 76o 31' to 76o 40' E longitude. However, at the time of declaration, the forest had nothing but barren stony hillocks and thorny trees. Owing to the arduous efforts of the staff and support of the surrounding villagers, the sanctuary has transformed into a lush green area boasting of a verdant forest with exuberant local species of flora and fauna. It is estimated that about 120 Sloth Bears are living in this sanctuary, apart from Leopards, Hyena, Jackals, Wild Boars, Porcupine, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pea Fowls, Partridges, Painted Spur Hen, Quails etc. About 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies have also been identified in this sanctuary in a preliminary survey. The Bears stay confined within the range as the sanctuary has innumerable wild fruit-bearing trees and bushes like kavale (carissa carandas), jane (grewia teliafolia), ulupi (Grewia salvitidia), nerale (Eugenea jambolana), bore (zyziphus jujuba), etc in its premises. These trees and bushes yield fruits one after the other. About Indian Sloth Bear There are eight species of Bears in the world. Indian Sloth Bear is confined to India and Sri Lanka only. Its scientific (Zoological) name is Melursus ursimus. It has long, dark unkempt coat of hair with a characteristic v-shaped chevron on its chest. Fore limbs are longer than the hind limbs. The hairless feet are armed with white, blunt, curved claws, which extend up to three inches. Hairless webs unite the pads of the fingertips. Though the head is comparatively large, the Sloth Bears have relatively small ears and eyes. Hence their sense of hearing and vision is poor. But they have outstanding sense of smell. Their short-haired, grayish-colored muzzle is extremely flexible and ends in the nose. The nostrils can be closed at will. The lips are extremely loose and two incisor teeth are absent in the upper jaw. All these arrangements are helpful for sucking termites and ants. Normally, adults attain a length of about six feet and stand three feet at the shoulder. Male adults weigh about 140 kg and female adults about 75 kg. While sommer is their mating period, this is often accompanied by a lot of quarrel and fighting between the males and the females. Usually two to three cubs are born in winter. The newborn cubs are small, hairless and blind for three weeks. The mother rears the cubs for two to three years. The life span of Bears is 40 to 50 years. The Sloth Bears are nocturnal animals. Food Habits The Bears are relish on termites, ants and honey. A Bear rips open the termite mound with its stout claws, pokes its muzzle in the hole, and blows the din and debris away. Then it enjoys the termites by sucking them just like a vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming ants and termites is so noisy that it can be heard 300 yards away! They are crazy over honey. They climb trees to obtain it and no attack from bees can drive them away from the honey. The Bears also eat the fleshy flowers of Mahuva and thus, help in spreading their tribe. Man and Sloth Bear The Sloth Bears are not aggressive. Most bears run away on hearing and smelling people. But these

Sloth Bears get so absorbed in what they are doing that they neither notice the presence of people nor smell them, until a sudden encounter. During such sudden encounters, the annoyed animal stands on its hind legs and roars to scare away the people. Some times the frightened Bear might assault and injure people before rushing away in panic. Some villagers kill these Bears owing to fear and anxiety over losing their crops. The everincreasing human population is clearing forest for agriculture and deforestation, which eventually results in destroying the habitat of the Bears. To watch the Bears one must be in the watch-tower on a hillock and sit quietly to look at the Bears descending from the opposite Karadikallu Gudda. This hillock has hundreds of caves where the Bears take shelter. Visiting HoursBetween 6.00 A M and 6.00 P M on all days. How To Reach: By Road: Bangalore to Chitradurga (199 kms) on NH-4, then to Hospet (135 Kms) on NH13. And then to Kamalapura (12 Kms)-which is 10 Kms from the Sanctuary. By Rail: Nearest railway station is Hospet where trains from Bangalore and Hubli are accessible. Accommodation: Forest Guest House, Kamalapur and Gunda Forest Guest House, Vyasanakere near Hospet. HPC guest house, HPC, Kamalapura. PWD guest house Kamalapura. K S T D C ' s M a y u r Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura. " Va i k u n t h a " T B b o a r d guesthouse Hospet. Mallige Tourist Home Ph: +918394-228101 +91-8394228101 to 16. Priyadarshini Lodge, Ph: +918394-228838 228096, 227313, Other nearest Places Of Tourist Attraction: World heritage centre - Hampi. Tunga Bhadra Dam, near Hospet. For more details contact: The Range Forest Officer, Daroji Bear Sanctuary, Vidyaranya.583 2 76 (Kamalapura), Hospet taluk, Bellary district. Karnataka, INDIA Phone +91-8394242869 +91-8394-242869. The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Wildlife sub-division, Ranebennur-581 115 Haveri dist Karnataka. INDIA. Ph: +91-8373-860394, +91-8373-860394. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Aranya Bhavan, Bangalore-580 003. Ph: +91-80-23345846 +91-80-23345846


Four Places To Cut Your Carbon

You can have a big impact on moving us all toward a greener future in the individual choices you make each day. These are some of the easiest and most effective ways, in four key areas, to reduce our carbon footprint and help improve our quality of life.

Transportation Boy do we get around — cars, trucks, buses, boats, planes! All that transportation accounts for almost half of noxious air pollution, more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions, one quarter of common air contamination and almost one-fifth of water toxicity. Not surprisingly, cars are the worst offenders — they contribute the most carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, cause urban blight (with all those jammed, ugly freeways) and pollute our water and air through exhaust and road runoff. To make a difference:

Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

A typical SUV uses almost twice the fuel — and releases nearly twice the emissions of a modern car, although both seat the same number of passengers. Walk, bike, carpool or take transit to get to one of your regular destinations each week. Learn about the impacts of air travel and consider vacationing close to home. If you are moving, choose a home within a 30-minute bike, walk or transit ride from your daily destinations. A convenient place to live reduces the amount you drive, which means you'll lower your greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

Energy Ÿ

Choose energy-efficient appliances. New refrigerators, for example, use 40 per cent less energy than models made just 10 years ago.

Food There are so many humans on the planet, simply feeding ourselves has led to all kinds of environmental havoc — air and water pollution, loss of soil and reduced biodiversity. It's time to clean up our act. We can have a huge effect on climate change by simply changing a few of our food habits. Here's how. Eat wisely. Choose foods that are local, organic and low on the food chain whenever possible. Make the most of seasonal foods. Ÿ Buy sustainable seafood.. Check out our handy wallet guide for tips on the best catches. Ÿ Take care of your trash. Composting all organic waste — and recycling paper, cardboard, cans and bottles — will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills. Ÿ

Call for leadership As individuals, we can green our homes, schools and offices and have a huge impact. But we also need policy movers and shakers to step up to the plate — with incentives for fuel efficient technologies, legislation banning toxic chemicals and strategies to protect endangered species, to name a few. No one's asking you to stay home and lock yourself in a closet. Get out in the world! Just try to lighten your footprint.


The Little Black Sparrow Flew Away Forever.. And Ever.

.

There was a time when the city was filled with so many sparrows. Its chirps would sometimes be pleasantly deafening. These sparrows were very fondly called the house sparrows cos wherever people build, these house sparrows sooner or later came to share their abodes. The structures of the houses were such that these little house sparrows would nest in between the various small ventilator openings, holes on the tilled roof etc. They fed on paddy, which was cleaned by people regularly in order to get rice. Though described as tame and semi-domestic, neither was strictly true; humans provided food and home, not companionship. The House Sparrow remained the wary of man. If you have noticed I have spoken of the sparrows' existence in the past tense... They ate, they stayed, they lived, they existed… I don't mean this in the literal sense, having said that this could be what I would say a few years from now when these sparrows don't exist. Why aren't there as many sparrows as there was before? Easy guesses would be the kind of houses that we build today doesn't support sparrows to nest in it; rice is sold after the cleaning process so there is no cleaning of paddy for rice on a daily basics, less trees, increase of birds and animals of the higher order that feed on sparrows like cats etc. AND….Electromagnetic waves!!! Yes, electromagnetic waves. These tiny birds are fast disappearing from cities "contaminated" with electromagnetic waves arising out of increased number of mobile handsets. Electromagnetic waves travel through the air to the cell-phone masts located above tall buildings in the cities. These waves then travel to and fro between the handset and the tower while one is using the handset and this result in increased electromagnetic contamination in the air. This electromagnetic wave affects the sparrows' central nervous system and these radiations also affect the reproduction process and birds in general navigate by the Earth's magnetic fields and these waves could disturb a bird's ability to find their way around.

I recently read a book called "All I really know, I learnt in kindergarten" And....

So they fly away before its too late…

A Nursery Rhyme we learn in the 1ST standard: “Says he, I will shoot the little house-sparrow. His body will make me a nice stew, And his giblets will make me a little pie, too. Says the little house-sparrow, I'll be shot if I stay, So he clapped his wings and then flew away!”

A little house-sparrow sat on a tree, Looking as happy as happy could be, Till a boy came by, with his bow and arrow, Says he, I will shoot the little house-sparrow. His body will make me a nice stew, And his giblets will make me a little pie, too. Says the little house-sparrow, I'll be shot if I stay, So he clapped his wings and then flew away!

So this explains it... All that I know... I learnt in kindergarten…

Sharanya Sudakar

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The Pros and Cons of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)

CFLs actually have a thirty odd year history from conception to manufacturing, so their pros and cons now list almost as long as the number of 'how to change a lightbulb' jokes. Their lack of widespread acceptance among the American tells us much about the strength of the positions held by the users and nonusers.

complaints directed against CFLs. Most styles of CFLs retail between $4.00 - $15.00. The cost factor diminishes greatly when you consider the number of different CFL discounts and giveaways available through local utilities, mass market chain stores and other retail and public outlets. Some local giveaways strictly limit the number of bulbs per customer given away. Still, it is relatively easy to discover additional opportunities in your CFL users and promoters often focus on the comparative area for bulk purchases at the cost of one dollar per bulb. benefits of CFL energy efficiency and long term cost savings. The functional argument starts with the With a thirty odd year history, CFL manufacturers recognize that assumption that obtaining light is the primary goal of the type of light produced by a bulb matters as much to the purchasing light bulbs. average consumer as much as type of light matters to impressionistic painters. Consumers with an aesthetic aversion In light bulb speak, light is measured by lumens. A to CFLs either do not like the look of the bulb or they do not like traditional 75 watt incandescent light bulb produces 1170 the light the bulb produces. lumens of light and lasts on average 750 hours. Fortunately, lighting and bulb technology has improved over the The very same bulb in its compact fluorescent past decade, thereby increasing consumer choice. reincarnation produces 1170 lumens (the same amount of light) using a mere 20-21 watts of electricity. Same light, but The variety of lighting fixture and bulb shading options available it requires up to 75% electricity to generate. Long terms to hide the bulb from eye view continues to increase. With a little costs are further reduced because the bulbs are advertised ingenuity, any consumer can purchase or create the perfect to last anywhere from six to eleven times longer than their light shade for their home. incandescent counterparts. CFL manufacturers also realized that type of light matters. Of course, light bulb life, like gasoline mileage in your Newer generation CFLs come in cool light, soft light and day automobile, depends on your lighting habits. Both bulb light versions, making it easier for consumers to choose manufacturers and the United States Department of different types of lights for different rooms in the house. Energy recommend using these bulbs in areas where the lights stay on for long periods of time. Currently, no CFLs The final downside of CFLs is their use of a small amount of are recommended for dimmer switches. mercury in each bulb. The amount is small enough to be a nuisance factor to anyone needing to clean up from one broken Cost savings associated with the use of CFLs can also be bulb. calculated in other ways. For example, a 2001 report by the Energy Information Administration says that lighting the The problem turns from a nuisance to a hazardous condition, average household accounts for 8.8% of total household considered in the aggregate. Millions of broken or improperly electricity consumption. Changing to 75% more efficient disposed CFLs constitutes a hazardous condition in any area. It light bulbs should result in around a 7% savings on your is important for manufacturers and consumers to organize a monthly electricity bill. safe recycling system. Cost and aesthetic concerns lead the list of consumer


BT Brinjals, Pros and Cons

Soon all of us will be eating genetically contaminated food. The Cabinet has just approved the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill which will allow genetically modified food into the country. The bill can be tabled in the Parliament anytime. The BRAI will be a body of technocrats whose decisions will remain unquestioned. Our state governments and people like us will not be able to question this body. To stop this, Greenpeace, a civil society organisation working on varied issues including sustainable agriculture, is sending an open letter to the National Advisory Council (NAC) Chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi. The letter asks her to make the Government re-draft this bill after consulting the public. I have already signed this letter and more signatures will make the case stronger.

French environmental crusaders are fighting back as India is toying with the idea of allowing genetically modified brinjals into market. An independent group says the BT brinjals are unsafe. The Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering has submitted to India’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) that Bt brinjal’s release into the environment for food and feed in India may present a serious risk for human and animal health. It has said Bt brinjal’s commercial release should be forbidden. Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini’s analysis of Mahyco’s Bt brinjal biosafety data says that the Bt brinjal produces a protein which can induce resistance to kanamycin, a well-known antibiotic, which could be a major health problem. The analysis was commissioned by Greenpeace. While pointing out in his analysis that Bt brinjal had not been properly tested from the safety and environmental point of view, Professor Seralini observed that in feeding trials significant differences were noted compared to the best corresponding non-Bt controls. For instance, in goats fed with this GMO, the prothrombin (time it takes for blood to clot) was modified, in rabbits less consumption was noted, in cow’s milk production and composition was changed, GM-fed rats had diarrhoea, higher water consumption and liver weight decrease, in broiler chickens feed intake was modified and in fish, average feed conversion and efficiency ratios were changed. “All this makes a very coherent picture of Bt brinjal that is potentially unsafe for human consumption. It will also potentially be unsafe to eat animals with these problems, having eaten GMOs,” he said. Besides, the professor’s analysis noted that the longest toxicity tests which were for only 90 days did not assess whole safety of the food or feed that could be eaten during the entire lifetime, and long-term effects like development of tumours or cancers. He observed that several differences that were found between the study and the (closest) control groups in the Bt Brinjal bio-safety tests were not reported in the summaries of Mahyco’s test reports and statistically significant differences that were reported were discounted, Gargi Parsai reported for The Hindu. Commenting on the secrecy on “confidential” raw data for toxicity for GMOs, Prof. Seralini said it had no scientific basis and created doubts in people’s minds. Asked to comment on the analysis, M.K. Sharma of Mahyco said he had not seen the analysis but all toxicology tests were conducted not only by Mahyco but by reputed government institutions. “All the tests for GM crops in India are conducted under controlled supervision. The Bt brinjal has a long line of clearance and approval from various departments - if we are convinced by the tests that will be reviewed later this month, it may be introduced in a year’s time,” GEAC Director B.S. Parashera told IANS recently. After Bt brinjal, there are 25 kinds of rice, 23 kinds of tomatoes, many types of groundnut, pigeon peas, potato, mustard, sugarcane, soy and okra awaiting GEAC approval. All these GM crops were in the testing stage and “will require approval from GEAC, then the

ministry for agriculture, before they can be commercialised for mass-scale production,” Parashera said. GEAC works under the Environment ministry. Explaining what exactly happens when crops are genetically modified, the GEAC chief said: “In GM foods, the seeds are made with genetic enhancement to become resistant to pests and bugs - we work in this area to solve the bigger problems - reduce use of chemical pesticides and fertiliser for environment-friendly options. We also make seeds available at affordable prices to farmers.” But a recent report by international NGO Greenpeace - called “Genetic Gamble - Safe food the end of choice?” - says there is still no evidence that GM food is safe, though the budget for genetically engineered food research has increased by 250 percent since 2005. “In all likelihood Bt brinjal will be launched with no label and we and our families will have no choice but to become lab rats in this grand genetic experiment,” Greenpeace campaigner Jai Krishna told IANS. Rajesh Krishnan, who helped compile the Greenpeace report, said: “If launched in the Indian markets, these Bt brinjals could spell disaster. The results of the tests carried out by the government must be made available for public scrutiny.” Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, all countries in the European Union and many in Africa have either banned the entry of GM foods or have imposed strict restrictions on their commercial use.


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SELF | COMMUNITY | EARTH

Green Is The New Black, "ECO" Is The Way To Be


My Green Code - September 2010