“Right to choose safe food is a fundamental right of consumers in a democracy. However, the onslaught of GM crops has been robbing the people of their right to choose.” This is the theme based on which Mahesh Bhatt (Filmmaker and Presenter of Poison on the Platter) and Ajay Kanchan (Director) have put together the film ‘Poison on the Platter’ - portraying the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in India as the end of choice. The film was recently screened at the India Islamic Cultural Center Auditorium in Delhi and was viewed by an auditorium packed with a mix audience. Everyone from children to citizens of all age groups were present to witness the screening.
The film is aimed at raising awareness and to enlighten the people about the introduction of GM crops in the Indian market and the irreversible adverse impacts on human health. Dignitaries like Mahesh Bhatt, Ajay Kanchan, Jeffrey M. Smith (Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology, USA), and Devinder Sharma of the Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security were present for the screening. Before the screening, Ajay Kanchan and Devinder Sharma gave a brief introduction of the film and the issue at large. This was followed by the screening of the of the film.
The film shows the hazardous impact that has been felt by countries in Europe and America after using GM crops for the last two decades. Damage to human and animal health to the extent of causing death after consuming GM crops has been experienced by countries all across the globe, as shown in the film. Such untold miseries of GM food are highlighted in the film. The ethical and religious angle of the issue has been highlighted and the film warns how the introduction of GM crops will also hurt the sentiments of almost all religious groups.
After the screening, Mahesh Bhatt came forward and shared his personal opinion on the issue. He has already spoken against the issue on several occasions and has called the production and promotion of Genetically Modified foods as an act of Bio-terrorism. Following this, the above mentioned four member panel tried to answer the questions raised by the audience.
The film definitely succeeded in getting across the message to the public at large and in making everyone think about the issue. Several people from the audience raised their questions and concerns and also came forward to help take the message even further. People also questioned the inaction from the Government’s end and called for the involvement of every citizen to prevent the entry of GM crops in the Indian market.
(Source: Anjana Dey in http://delhigreens.com/ )
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