Top Tamil actor Karthi, who is actively involved in helping farmers, has signed an online petition to prevent genetically modified foods from entering Indian kitchens.
Posting the link to the online petition on his Twitter page, the actor, who is well informed about farm practices and products, said, “Dear friends, an important online petition that should concern all of us. It is about the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India altering the regulations on GM & GE Foods which could open floodgates to GM foods coming into our lives. I am signing on. Pls sign, if you agree to this.”
The link to the online petition claims that the Indian government is gearing up to allow Genetically Modified (GM) foods despite studies showing adverse impacts on health and food safety.
The article accompanying the petition, posted by the petitioners identified as Sustainable Agriculture and Safe Food enthusiasts – Ananthoo, Rajesh Krishnan and Usha Soolapani, claimed that in different studies, GM foods were found to cause health problems like allergies, immune system impairment, stunted growth and development, organ damage, reproductive health impacts and even pre-cancerous growths.
Pointing out that a majority of countries around the world had not accepted GM crop cultivation, and that GM food crops were not allowed to be grown in India also precisely because they were not deemed to be safe for the environment and health, the petitioners asked why then was the government moving to allow (import of) GM foods by framing weak new regulations by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The petition, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), made a list of demands even as they stressed the point that the citizens of the country did not want GM foods, labelled or unlabelled.