Free pass to AYUSH industry a looming threat to India’s biodiversity

A joint parliamentary panel’s report reveals how the industry pressured the government into diluting its biodiversity law.

An old ad for Vicco Vajradanti, a decades-old brand of herbal toothpaste and tooth powder, which ran in the 1980s and 1990s, opened to majestic views of waterfalls and forested slopes. The scenes then cut to close-ups of flowers and plants as the voice-over in Hindi went: “Nature’s gifts, so beautiful, so seductive. Nature gives us so much with so much love.” A few shots later, by way of setting up its products as ayurvedic medicines, it added: “Nature has given us many invaluable herbs for good dental health, which ayurveda adopted as medicines.” 

While I grew up watching the …


Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

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