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Watch what you eat........It may be poisoned

You are what you eat is a familiar phrase or tag. Sad thing is that man is increasingly tampering with what we grow and produce for our consumption. Who knows how this will all play out in years to come - when health-issues manifest themselves.

Two stories just today...

First, this "Food Poisoning" from The Asian Age.

"Food is supposed to provide us nourishment and health but because of the toxins it contains, what we consume has become a major threat to our health. Some toxic substances are added to our food physically, through adulteration, while some enter our food system chemically, through pesticide residues. And some toxins enter the food chain genetically, through genetic engineering of seeds and crops. Even food packaging can be a source of toxins in food.

While physical adulteration, like stones in pulses, can be removed, the chemicals can’t be. The pollutants will stop entering our food system only when poisonous chemicals are banned. Genetic pollution and contamination of food is the new, big threat to food safety and it cannot be undone. Once toxic genes are put into a plant, they are in the genetic code. There is no rollback. Which is why the debate on biosafety of GMOs is so intense.

With growing consumerism and greed, food safety is being bypassed. The distance between growers and eaters is getting larger and being ignorant about what comprises our food is getting deeper. Traders adulterate food to make more money, and consumers, manipulated to focus on the cosmetic appearance, buy adulterated food not knowing what they are eating. Government agencies, which are supposed to inspect and stop adulteration, fail because of corruption and inadequate support.

We are eating hazardous substances every day. Copper salts are used to colour pickles and canned vegetables green. The craze for the cosmetic appearance of food has created a market for dyes injected in watermelon, peas, capsicum and brinjal. Brick dust in chilli powder, coloured chalk powder in turmeric, and papaya seeds in black pepper are old tricks.

 

With new chemicals available in the market, adulteration has reached new levels. Apples are sprayed with lead arsenate; turmeric and mixed spices are adulterated with lead chromate. These substances can cause anaemia, abortion and paralysis."

Secondly, this from France 24:

"Poland on Wednesday imposed new bans on the cultivation of certain genetically modified strains of maize and potatoes, a day after an EU required green light for GM crops took effect.

The centre-right government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk imposed farming bans on German BASF's Amflora strain of potato and US firm Monsanto's MON 810 maize or corn, according to a government statement Wednesday.

The ban on specific strains essentially uses a legal loophole to circumvent the EU's acceptance of such products."

 

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