INDIA: BT cotton seeds cause allergy: NGO

INDORE: The NGOs three member investigation team has suspected that a large number of farmers of Nirmar region suffer from allergies after coming in contact with BT cotton seed, sources said here on February 19.

The three member team comprising of Dr Ashish Gupta, Ashish Mandloi and Amulya Nidhi, carried out the survey in five villages and interviewed 23 labourers and farmers of Barwani and Dhar district between October and December 2005.

The team further revealed, the toxins inside the BT cotton seed which helps the cotton plant fight the deadly American Bollworm, was the main reason behind the allergy. 

The team also admitted that the study was not a comprehensive one and it covered only those persons who had allergies and had been definitely been exposed to BT cotton plant or had picked up cotton.

Dr Gupta said that all respondents had itching of skin, while 86 pct of them had eruptions on body and 56 pct had swelling of face where as in some cases, the itching was so severe that they had to discontinue their work, or had to work after taking anti-allergy medicine.

The use of the BT cotton seed increased in the past two seasons has surged the cases of allergies in the region. So the team suggested to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter and also to take necessary measures to stop the allergies eruption.

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Added: February 20, 2006 Source: Agencies
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