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Bhatt protests ‘poison’ on platter
- Celluloid warning against genetically modified food

Bhubaneswar, March 26: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt today added his voice to the growing protests against genetically modified (GM) food in the country.

In his home production, Poison on the Platter — directed by Ajay Kanchan — that was screened in the capital today, Bhatt conveyed an anti-GM food message and stressed that Indian consumers deserved more than verbal assurances regarding the safety of GM food.

Mahesh Bhatt is the chief narrator in the documentary that also carries opinions of experts and spiritual and political leaders and activists and describes incidents involving GM food, reported worldwide. It also portrays citizens as guinea pigs in an unregulated worldwide experiment involving GM food.

Incidentally, BT Brinjal is the first GM food ready for release in India and is also making inroads to Orissa.

BT Cotton has already become a controversy, as thousands of cattle have died after grazing on BT Cotton fields, while farmers and those handling the cotton have come down with severe allergies.

Stating that the film is based on facts and reviewed scientific studies, the filmmaker added that the hazards of GM food would dwarf catastrophes such as nuclear attacks, floods, cyclones and world wars. “It is akin to bio-terrorism,” said Bhatt, addressing the media today.

Spiritual leaders such as Baba Ramdev and Ravishankar are a part of the film as well and are heard exhorting the biotech lobby to refrain from promoting GM food — till it is found to be scientifically safe. “The emerging voice in new India clearly does not wish to have anything to do with this unnatural food,” Baba Ramdev is heard saying in the film.

The film, which raises the question of whether the India is GM free, has Bhatt heading to a supermarket and pointing out packets containing corn and soya imported from US. More than 70 per cent of these crops are genetically modified in US, he points out.

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