Why hasn’t India embraced GM food as it did Green Revolution technologies?

| | March 7, 2017
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A farmer in India tosses fertilizer on a field.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Vivian Fernandes is editor of Smart Indian Agriculture, a website devoted to promoting modern practices in agriculture including use of genetically-engineered seeds.]

The only genetically modified (GM) plant crop in India to be approved for cultivation is bollworm-resistant Bt cotton. It was released in 2002. In 2010, then environment minister Jairam Ramesh imposed a moratorium on release of Bt brinjal (eggplant) though it had the same fruit borer-killing protein as Bt cotton and showed no harm to humans, animals and the environment in tests. Bangladesh allowed its cultivation in 2015 on the basis of Indian bio-safety data. In September 2015, a team of Delhi University scientists led by its former vice-chancellor Deepak Pental, a geneticist, applied for permission to commercially cultivate GM mustard hybrid, DMH-11.

Related article:  China decides against renewing GM permits, raises questions about future for research

The hybrid is struggling for approval despite environment minister Anil Madhav Dave telling Parliament that its tests have “adequately addressed” safety concerns.

[T]he general public [in India] is iffy about GM crops, despite all the leading science academies including that of India holding that there is no evidence of existing GM crops posing new risks to human health or the environment.

Why were Green Revolution technologies and practices like high-yielding varieties and intensive use of chemical nutrients and pesticides acceptable but the gene revolution technology is not?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why The World Loves To Hate GM Crops Despite Overwhelming Scientific Evidence In Its Favour

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