Activists of environment pressure group Greenpeace held a demonstration in New Delhi on Thursday protesting the presence of Genetically Modified (GM) ingredients in food products, harmful for humans.
They said that tests conducted at an independent laboratory on products picked up randomly from a supermarket in New Delhi, revealed that Pepsico's Doritos corn chips contain genetically modified Mon 863 and NK603 variety corn ingredients.
The activists were trying to draw the attention of Union Health Minister Dr. Ramadoss to this grave health hazard created by the dumping genetically modified food, flooding the Indian market. They said that despite being tipped off around a month ago he failed to take action against the errant people.
The activists marched on the busy street in front of the strategic government building carrying yellow coloured banner reading 'No to GE food (Genetically Engineered)' written on it. They also piled up genetically modified packets of the food articles in front of the ministry.
"To highlight the cause of genetically modified food we are back to tell him (Dr. Ramadoss) that we want his attention and action now. We want that all genetically modified food being sold in the market should be withdrawn from the shelves of the supermarkets and confiscated and the import screening should be stringent which is not happening today," said Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, and Greenpeace India.
India has a law prohibiting the sale of genetically modified food products without the permission of Genetic Engineering Approval Committee. However, the implementation of the law is lax.
"It (Genetically modified food) has very detrimental effects and can even lead to unpredictable health hazards in living organisms. Studies are going on in western countries on Genetically Modified food articles. Some have banned the product and are very strict about the laws. Even in India we have laws in place but unfortunately despite that, this product has entered the market," said Surya, a Green Peace activist.
The debate that ensued led many countries in Europe, including France and Romania, to stop the cultivation of GM corn. None of these varieties have been approved in India for human consumption.