Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Brinda Karat now maliging faith of millions of Indian in Baba Ramdev

Karat(e) chop forced Minister to bypass norms

Pioneer News Service / New Delhi

Brinda submitted animal material as sample---- In what could be an
embarrassing disclosure for CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat,
Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Wednesday said one of the
samples, supplied by her as Baba Ramdev's product, was in fact
an "animal material." The laboratory result was obvious: "dry tissue
of animal origin."

Ms Karat first levelled charges of presence of animal bones and
human skull in Ramdev's products six months ago, then went on to
collect the samples herself, and compelled the Health Minister to
get these tested bypassing the drug controller. The Health
Ministry's vague and inconclusive report came handy for her to
malign the swami.

Ms Karat on Tuesday alleged before the media that the swami used
animal bones and human skull in Ayurvedic medicines from his
pharmacy. The Health Ministry has not attested the source of her
samples. "We did not pick up these samples. Ms Karat gave us the
samples, but we don't know (where she got these from). She is an MP
and I am duty-bound to get the samples tested if she found something
objectionable about them," Dr Ramadoss said.

Similarly, ones of the samples collected by Ms Karat tested by a
premier testing laboratory found "source of DNA of human origin,"
the Minister said. Ms Karat claims she collected this sample from
Ramdev's pharmacy.

The Minister admitted he made an exception for Ms Karat by sending
samples collected by her for testing. Instead of handing over the
investigation to the State or the Central Drug Controller, the
Ministry bypassed these agencies and sent samples for testing. He
admitted there is no other instance when the complainant collected
samples and asked the Health Ministry to test these.

Continuing with mixing half-truths and obfuscating the issue, the
Minister said the issue is one of "mis-labelling" and refused to act
against the alleged violation by the pharmacy. "There seems to be a
case of mis-labelling. If need be, the Uttaranchal drug controller
will pick up samples and test these. They are the ones to take any
punitive action if they find a violation," Dr Ramadoss said. If he
has a case, the Centre is empowered to act under the law.

The Health Ministry does not come clean on the politically-motivated
conspiracy. It sent one set of samples to the Department of
Veterinarian Methodology, University of Animal Sciences and
Fisheries, Kolkata. The State is ruled by CPI(M), whose writ runs in
the State's administration and could have influenced the outcome of
a politically-charged allegation.

The testing methodology raises more doubts. The Hyderabad-based
Centre for DNA Testing and Finger-printing did not find samples to
contain material of human origin, the Minister said. Another
Hyderabad-based laboratory, Centre for Cellular and Molecular
Biology, found the source to contain DNA of human origin. Yet
another agency found two drugs to contain calcium and phosphorus,
while another contained a mix of aluminium, silicon, calcium and
ferrous material.

The Health Ministry did not make the report public, so it is not
possible to know whether all samples were sent to all agencies or a
few to some of the agencies, or whether all agencies employed common
methodology for testing. The norms exist with drug controller, who
was conveniently bypassed in the operation.

While repeating "we do not know where the samples came from", he
continued to assert that one of the samples contained "DNA of human
origin" or "dry tissue of animal origin."

The Minister has set a wrong precedent in disregarding established
channels of drug sampling and testing. His Ministry seems to have
willingly collaborated with the Left leader in maligning an

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