The chief of a federal body on animal husbandry has unveiled a chip made of cow dung, claiming it reduces radiation from mobile handsets. Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria showcased the chip while launching “Kamdhenu Deepawali Abhiyan”, a campaign to promote products made of cow dung.
“Cow dung is anti-radiation. If you bring this home and place it in (on) your phone, it (the phone) will become radiation-free,” Kathiria said, showcasing the product at a press conference on Monday.
The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog is a body under the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, set up by the Narendra Modi government for “conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny”, according to its website.
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Kathiria said the chips are not certified by any scientific body but have been tested in laboratories. “You can test its effectiveness in any laboratory and even in colleges,” he said. Over 500 ‘gaushalas’, or cow shelters, are making these anti-radiation chips, he said.
Scientists say that rigorous scientific tests, including peer review, would be necessary to demonstrate qualities like radiation absorption capacity of cow dung. “I don’t know anything about this, but any claim needs to pass rigourous scientific tests based on facts, whether it is a cow dung chip or a corona vaccine,” said Samir Brahmachari, a biophysicist and former director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The cow is revered by many Hindus, and some believe its by-products, such as urine, promotes health and well-being. Some uses of cow dung have been scientifically proven. For example, cow manure can be naturally treated to remove methane, a greenhouse gas, according to the US Environment Protection Agency.
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However, many claims regarding cow dung and cow urine remain untested by modern standards of science.
In February, Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, president of the Hindu Mahasabha, a conservative Hindu organisation, declared that “consuming cow urine and cow dung will stop the effect of infectious coronavirus”.
Meera Nanda, an Indian historian of science, describes this as a conviction that “India has always known everything that is worth knowing”. According to her, this has prevented Indians “from developing an ethos of honest inquiry.”