AMRITSAR: Serious doubts and apprehensions about the safety standards, regulation mechanism and food security provisions with regard to genetically modified and engineered foods and crops were raised at the seminar on “Food safety concerns of GM products,”. This seminar was organized by the Food Science and Technology Department of Guru Nanak Dev University here today. Dr. A.K. Thukral, Director, Research presided over while Dr. Ashok Goel, Professor & Head, Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Amritsar delivered the keynote address on this occasion. Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, Kheti Virasat Mission, Jaitu, Faridkot detailed about the seminar. Professor Ashok Goel highlighted the dangers of Genetically Modified foods. He informed that the new age bio-technology food would insert genes of animals into plant. For example, the tomatoes may have genes from fish, potato from pigs, Brinjal from Bacteria, etc. Mentioning about the first GM tomatoes in the USA called FlavrSavr, Dr. Ashok said that even the rats and other animals including cows, pigs, geese, squirrels, elk, deer, raccoons, etc. all refused to eat them. He said that however after force feeding for 28 days, 7 of the 20 rats developed stomach lesions and 7 of 40 died within 2 weeks. Umendra Dutt said that Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill (BRAI) would actually be an approval agency and not a regulatory body. He said that it would just be giving legal sanction to whatever the corporate brings to it, just on the lines of the illegally formed Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC). Taking about the legal aspect of the laws relating to food security and safety, social activist, Hemant Goswami mentioned that way back in 1860 and also the penal code provided safeguards against foods and eatables which could cause harm to human health or environment. He said that Food Adulteration Act and Food Safety Act 2006 further assured the right of citizens to have safe food.