Fri 29 Aug 2008
Filed under: Health / AIDS,News
Twenty seven Burmese children fell ill from food poisoning after eating physic nuts in 2007, a Rangoon based weekly journal reported.
Dr. Kyi Kyi Thin from the Institute of Medicine 1 (IM 1) revealed this in a lecture on ‘World Crises in Food, Water and Energy’ held at the Myanmar Medical Doctors Association.
“The children fell ill from food poisoning after eating physic nut planted in their residential areas to produce bio diesel. The children like to eat them as it looks like betel nut and has a sweet taste. After the food poisoning they suffered from diarrhea, vomiting and low blood pressure. Some children had to be admitted to hospitals and clinics,” the 29th August issue of ‘Weekly Eleven’ reported quoting Dr. Kyi Kyi Thin.
The severity of food poisoning suffered by the children was in varying degrees. Some recovered from the illness within 48 hours. About 56.5 per cent of 27 children who suffered food poisoning from physic nuts were in the age group of 10 to 15, the journal reported citing medical records.
The regime ordered the whole country to grow physic nuts in December 2005. It was a brainchild of Snr. Gen. Than Shwe for fuel self-sufficiency. In this nationwide campaign, physic nuts were grown on seven acres of land in all 14 States and Divisions.
The concerned regional military command commanders put pressure on the people to grow physic nuts. But the extraction of bio-diesel from physic nuts has not yet materialized significantly but the planting of saplings continue in some areas.
Destruction and removal of physic nut plantations around the Mandalay palace moat was witnessed in early August. But government officials usually avoid commenting on this sacred physic nut plantation project.