Mis­lead­ing ads

Down to Earth - - ON THE WEB -

The def­i­ni­tion of junk food ac­cord­ing to the Hy­der­abad­based Na­tional In­sti­tute of Nu­tri­tion is "food rich in salt, sugar, fats and en­ergy but poor in vi­ta­mins, pro­teins and min­er­als". One of the pri­mary rea­sons we fall sick so of­ten is our poor eat­ing habits. We be­come sus­cep­ti­ble to the bar­rage of food ads we see on tele­vi­sion, be­lieve they serve us nat­u­ral food and end up buy­ing un­healthy prod­ucts. Con­sump­tion of pro­cessed foods with ar­ti­fi­cial flavours and preser­va­tives has weak­ened our im­mune sys­tem, mak­ing us prone to al­ler­gies. Food writer Michael Pol­lan aptly puts it, "Eat food, but not too much. If it came

from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't".


Warn­ing bells toll

The ed­i­to­rial "Green clear­ance test for NDA" (Septem­ber 1-15, 2014) and the com­pre­hen­sive cover story "Min­ing at deep sea" in the same is­sue have not come a day too soon. The at­tempts to drill meth­ane in the rice fields of the Cau­very Delta in Than­javur dis­trict of Tamil Nadu points to a dan­ger­ous pos­si­bil­ity—min­ing for meth­ane which is avail­able in plenty un­der the per­mafrost re­gions of the planet. In­dia's de­mand for in­creased food

TARIQUE AZIZ / CSE pro­duc­tion in the past 20 years has been achieved mostly at the cost of en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion. For­est land is be­ing in­creas­ingly di­verted for pro­duc­tion of bio-fuel and non-food crops, hous­ing and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment.


Com­mit­tee of fools

It is not pru­dent on the part of the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, Forests and Cli­mate Change ( MoEFCC) to ap­point non-ex­perts in ex­pert ap­praisal com­mit­tees ("Ex­perts with­out ex­per­tise", Au­gust 16-31, 2014). Most of them are po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees and lack both ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise in the field of en­vi­ron­ment. Same is the case with ap­point­ments to the state ex­pert ap­praisal com­mit­tees. Since the mem­bers do not have ex­per­tise, they raise ab­surd ques­tions in meet­ings and pro­pose equally un­rea­son­able an­swers. This leads to de­lays and de­feats the pur­pose of timely de­liv­ery of en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ances. The Na­tional Green Tri­bunal is right in its ver­dict and this has to be fol­lowed by MoEFCC in let­ter and spirit if we are to see the right peo­ple oc­cu­py­ing seats of im­por­tance.


Not ready for a dis­as­ter

This is with ref­er­ence to the ed­i­to­rial, "In­dia's dou­ble chal­lenge" (Septem­ber 16-30, 2014). In our coun­try, the reg­u­la­tory safe­guards have cer­tainly been given a skip and the ap­proval mech­a­nism for projects has worked through a col­lu­sion


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