Punjab Plans of Banning Sex Determination Kit from US

by Medindia Content Team on  July 3, 2006 at 4:08 PM Indian Health News   - G J E 4
Punjab Plans of Banning Sex Determination Kit from US
Punjab plans to ban the entry of sex determination test kits to counter online threats to its skewed sex ratio.

A US-based website's offer of 'Gender Mentor Home DNA gender testing kit' for $275 promising results within 48 hours has sparked fears of a mass killing of unborn girls in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

"We will take all steps to get the kit banned," Punjab's Health Minister Ramesh Chander Dogra told a news channel Sunday.

The central government's help would be taken to ban the entry of sex determination kits into the country, he added.

Already dubbed the 'Jantar Mantar' kit in Punjab, the test available at caters to those desirous of having sons.

National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Girja Vyas told a TV channel that she had been informed about the sex determination test kit and wanted the Punjab government to take appropriate action against its users.

"We have suggested to the central government that the PNDT (pre-natal diagnostic testing) Act be suitably amended to include the latest sex determination technologies," Vyas said.

However, doctors in Punjab and Chandigarh said such a ban would not be foolproof.

"There are NRIs and travellers from abroad who can smuggle these kits into India. The PNDT Act needs to be amended suitably with a strict penalty for using such kits," said gynaecologist Sanjay Goyal.

Punjab has one of the worst sex ratios in the country - 874 females against 1,000 males. This is far lower than the national sex ratio of 933 females per 1,000 males.

In certain districts of Punjab, like Fatehgarh Sahib, the sex ratio is just over 700 females per 1,000 males.

The technology of the sex determination kit is not covered under the provisions of the PNDT Act that bans sex determination through ultrasound techniques.

(Source: IANS)

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