Survey Report of Ill Effects of BT Cotton on Humans and Animals in Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa in Haryana State of India Dated 17-20 October 2008 (Updates will be available early November, 2008 and onwards. Please Contact Us now for any updates)

 

We reported earlier as well on ill effects of BT cotton (for earlier reports see www.kisanbachaoandolan.co.cc) but a recent visit to some villages in Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts of Haryana state has opened our eyes further:

 

Farmers of the area say that the problems in animals related to dislike of feed items containing cotton seeds like whole seed meals and cotton seed oilcake, prolapse of uterus, premature deliveries, sudden deaths of buffaloes, reduction in milk and fat content of milk, skin problems and many other previously not so common or rare problems in animals are rising. According to villagers and medical practioners, in humans as well skin related itching and eruptions and subsequent wounds are very common who work in BT cotton fields. People say that all these problems are coinciding with the introducton of BT cotton in the area.

 

I was shocked to know that the village Sarpanch (village head) (9812357707 from with in Haryana; 09812357707 from outside Haryana; 00919812357707 from outside India) of Dhansu Village of District Hisar, Haryana State says some persons in his village have suffered skin problems possibly due to BT cotton and they have invested lacs of Rupees. In the same village many animals have died and the farmers say that the cause they could not ascertain. But these problems have appeared only in last 2-3 years and in the same time BT cotton was introduced in the area. Moreover, a majority of animals in the area completely refuse to eat the BT cotton seed and oil cake. To add to the truth 1 out of 10 cows who were experimented upon by National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India did not eat BT cotton seed based feed and it was forced to eat the same by mixing the feed with some tasty preparation (so if they have added an ingredient to make feed tasty and did not add the same ingredient in any other experimented or control group animals then this experiment is scientifically invalid, and I am qualified enough to declare it invalid-Dr Sudhir Kumar Kaura).

 

 

The problems in humans and animals is going nearly unreported in the media.

I hope someone would take care, though BBC TV and The Sunday Indian (Plan Man Media Publicatino) have covered it this month in our area. But it needs detail investigation, though we have made some videos and photographs and some of these would be soon available on www.kisanbachaoandolan.co.cc or can be requested at kisanbachaoandolan @ rediffmail.com

 

Farmers are very much scared due to sudden deaths of buffaloes in many villages in Hisar, Fatehabad and Bhiwani districts and many of them have sold their remaining animals due fear of further death and further economic loss. Due this phenomenon, price of Buffaloes has declined sharply in the market possibly due these reasons only.

 

Other farmers whom we met are as follows: (all of them are feeding their animals with cotton seeds or cotton oilcake purchased from market along with other feed items)

 

Chandi Ram Punia Village Talwandi Rana, Hisar District who lost four of his five buffaloes in few days time due to sudden death and the cause is unkown. He sold his remaining one buffalo due to the fear of death.

 

Indro wife of Dharam Pal, Village Dhansu, Hisar District said that her buffalo died suddenly though it was yielding 12 litres of milk per day. (One day prior to its death its milk yield was 14 liters and two day prior to death it yielded 16 litres)

 

Ram Niwas son of Prithvi Singh village Badopal, Fatehabad District [Phone 01667 285254 (Purushottam) 9728468472 (Anil)] says that his buffalo died recently due to problem in pregnancy.

 

Ram Phal son of Ami Lal, village Dulehri, Bhiwani District says that his buffalo delivered calf prematurely in 8.5 months only. And this type of problem has become widespread in the village this year. For last 3-4 years we are facing problems in animals says Ami Lal. Animals do not prefer to eat the cotton oil cake and cotton seeds. We do not know the reason but when the animals eat cotton seeds or cotton oil cake they fall ill. The cotton seeds and cotton oil cake also has affected fertility of animals in the sense that 1-2 years gap is often coming in the pregnancy cycle and young calves are dying in high numbers. Majority of animals have started delivering prematurely. This has resulted in decline in milk yield of animals and taste of milk is not up to the mark. Earlier we used to consume milk in high quantity but now we consume less milk due to not so good taste. Fat content of milk is also reduced and it has halved compared to past. For last 2-3 years problem of prolapse of uterus has also become widespread. Milk production and fat content of milk declines due to feeding of cotton oilcake and cotton seeds.

 

Satyavan son of Bhola Ram village Dulehri, Bhiwani District says, ‘In our village 50 per cent people have stopped feeding cotton seeds and cotton oilcake and have replace it by wheat. She Calves don’t conceive at right time and conception age has advanced up to 2 years. Abortion in animals has become very common. Milk yield is not as expected and sometime animals stopped producing milk after 6 months. Whether cow of buffalo, all animals are affected by this problem. Animals are not satisfied with the feed containing cotton seed and cotton seed oilcake. Cotton seeds of non-BT 'desi' cotton variety are liked by animals but they dislike cotton seeds and cotton oil cake which we bring from market especially from Hansi town and other towns. Animals readily feed on other feed material like wheat but don’t prefer cotton seeds and cotton oil cake. Milk production has declined by 50%.

 

In Kotli Village of Sirsa District Jagir Singh son of Ujagar Singh informed us that skin itching has increased in village dogs as well since the BT cotton has come in the village. In the same village Pawan Taneja son of Ram Swarup Taneja running medicine shop says that skin itching problem is rising in labors working in BT cotton fields. Only People who work in BT cotton fields are affected by skin problems. Though incident of any death due to BT cotton related skin problems is not there. Affected labors have to take medicine of Rs 150 for 3-4 days and the medicine has effect up to 15-20 days.

 

Mange Ram son of Prema Ram Thapan, village Badopal, Fatehabad District says that his buffalo was ill for last 9 months and he was feeding it 5 kg of cotton seeds per day. It yielded 14 kg of milk 1 hour before dying. No cause of death could be ascertained by the government or private veterinary doctors of the area. Sunita (age 42 years) of the same household says that she does not prefer to enter BT cotton fields due fear of skin itching and wounds which will not heal as she is affected by diabetes. Some of her relatives living in the same household have been badly affected by skin problems and wounds due to working in the BT cotton field.

 

Banwari Lal son of Brij Lal of Village Sadalpur, Hisar District (phone 9255521224, 9991573937) says his buffalo also died suddenly. Our team collected and submitted a sample of cotton seeds to Central Institute of Research on Buffalo, , Hisar which was part of feed of a dead buffalo owned by Banwari Lal son of Brij Lal, village Sadalpur, Hisar District (phone)(it died suddenly recently) in presence of representatives of The Sunday Indian Mr Anil Pandey, Principal Correspondent and Mr Sujan Singh, Photographer. A part of sample is with us and is available to anyone interested in analysis.

 

*Please note that most of the farmers do not understand English, so please talk to them in Hindi or Haryanavi. Some of them may understand Panjabi to some extent.

 

Report Prepared by Dr Sudhir Kumar Kaura, PhD Genetics, National Coordinator Kisan Bachao Andolan (www.kisanbachaoandolan.co.cc)

 

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