Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

Safety for all

The demand by Greenpeace to withdraw soft vinyl toys from the markets to protect children 'No child's play' (Down To Earth , Vol 6, No 15; December 31, 1997) is most welcome. Not only kids in America but kids throughout the world deserve the same margin of safety as the kids in Europe. Legislation to ban such toys is the need of the hour. There should also be a label on every toy declaring them "safe for children".

The article, 'Green medicine' (Down To Earth , Vol 6, No 15; December 31, 1997) made interesting reading. It explained how the risk of cancer could be reduced by eating substantial amount of vegetables and fruits.

Another article 'It's all in the tomato' (Down To Earth, Vol 6, No 14; December 15, 1997) explained how consuming tomatoes could reduce the risk of developing heart disorders. It is true that diet plays a crucial role in the prevention of various diseases. Some vegetables have curative effects too. But what is good for one disease might not be good for another. For instance, it is said that consuming tomato is not good for those having stones in their stomach.

So while suggesting green medicines, articles in future should list all the effects which might help the readers of your magazine...

In Hindi also

I am a regular reader of Down To Earth . As a forest officer by profession, the magazine helps me to improve my technical knowledge about various issues.

Many of my friends and colleagues also read your magazine with interest. But the magazine's readership is limited because it is in English. I would request you to publish a Hindi edition of the magazine so that the message of conservation could reach to the masses....

Fooling the public

Being a regular reader of Down To Earth , I find that the magazine of late has improved a lot. It has become interesting and reader-friendly. The science sections carry well-researched articles about the new technological and biological breakthroughs. The news sections, too, are informative.

'Bad Medicine' (Down To Earth , Vol 6, No 17; January 31) had a very interesting analysis dealing with several spurious medicines currently flooding the Indian market. The manufacturers of these products put consumers' health at risk. Worse, these products shake the consumers' faith in the traditional Indian systems of medicine.

However, it is not my case to say that all traditional medicines sold in the market are fakes. Traditional medicines have been tried and tested for centuries in our country.

I hope that the government soon realises the damage that these "medicines" are capable of inflicting and takes remedial action to stop their production....

Visionary work

Down To Earth is playing a pioneering role in disseminating information about science and environment. In my opinion, if the magazine concentrates more on hard news, it may attract more readers. The article 'Fowl play' (Down To Earth , Vol 6, No17; January 31, 1997) was very informative. The promptness demonstrated by the Hong Kong authorities in tackling flu is commendable. despite the criticism that the mass culling of chickens generated. The authorities slaughtered around 1.2 million poultry to prevent the spread of the virus.

I would like Down To Earth to publish stories which will make people aware of the environmental problems, as they are indifferent to them. They might see garbage accumulating, but they won't raise their voice. They might witness pollution on the roads everyday, but they will not do anything. The government officials only pay lip service to these issues. It is in this context that magazines like Down To Earth should address itself to environmental issues....

An issue of compensation

I read the article regarding environmental and water pollution including the 'Lal Pani Case' ('The red triangle' Down To Earth , Vol 6 No17; January 1997). The article has dealt with the compensation problem very well. The analysis was very effective and reflected the pains which the reporter has undertaken to highlight the problems of Dhoraji and its surrounding areas....

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