Decoding Genetically Modified Foods

GE food and its effects

Sudhakar focused on community health through investigations into how many food items people consume – from cereals to oils – all might contain Genetically Engineered or Modified (GE or GM) ingredients. Despite the sale of GE foods being illegal under Section 22 of the Food and Safety and Standards Act, Sudhakar found and listed a number of GE food products imported from US and Canada being sold at some of the affluent parts of the city. The products did not even have GM labelling making them indistinguishable from non-GE foods.

He did an expose on roadside eateries where oil from GE BT cotton seeds was being used since it was cheaper. The report also raised the question of usage of imported GE soybean and mustard oils which are genetically modified.

Sudhakar’s article in Deccan Chronicle compelled authorities to conduct raids on supermarkets and seize GE foods being exported and sold in Hyderabad illegally.


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Tackling adulteration

Investigation into popular food outlets found that there is a high level of contamination in basmati rice.

Sudhakar also exposed adulteration at the level of producing crops. The use of pesticides or insecticides should be clearly mentioned on the products but the manufacturers were importing ‘bio-fertilizers’ from China to avoid scrutiny. Sudhakar wrote about differentiating bio-products from bio-fertilizers and chemical pesticides and brought to attention the lack of testing of most bio-products.


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