ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Doing without a Food Policy

further studies. A Japan Science Council report says that to date nearly 1,000 peasants and 13,000 livestock have been killed as a direct result of herbicide poisoning.5 A more macabre result of the herbicides is the enormous number of deformed children born since 1967 in areas of the most intense "defoliant" spraying.6 These dramatic horrors are only the immediately perceptible ones. The anticipated horrors will be more discreet but far more devastating.7 Farmlands are expected to remain sterile for at least fifty years. The effect on forests and plantations is expected to be either permanent or last several centuries. The poisoned top soil from this area through various forms of erosion will be carried for hundreds of miles around and THE Chief Ministers who had assembled in Delhi for a meeting of the National Development Council met on March 22 to consider the Agricultural Prices Commission's Report for Rabi Foodgrains for 1970-71. This meeting took a number of decisions on the recommendations of the Agricultural Prices Commission. Though some of these decisions were not technically sound and went against what the public expected, there were not many surprises in them either. Even last year, the Chief Ministers had not accepted the recommendations of the Agricultural Prices Commission in such matters as fixation of foodgrain prices. Similarly, except for keeping out Maharashtra and Gujarat from the wheat zone, they had expanded the wheat zone so as to include Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal (excluding Calcutta), Bihar and Rajasthan. Nevertheless it would be useful for us to consider the implications of some of these decisions.

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