Viewpoint: India shouldn’t let activists derail field trials of insect-resistant GMO eggplant

Screen Shot at PM

In a welcome sign that the decade-long benign indifference to technology infusion in the farm sector is set to change …. the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has decided to permit bio-safety research trials of indigenously-developed genetically modified (GM) brinjal, also known as eggplant.

Experiments in gene-modified crops are not new to this country, and brinjal in particular has had a checkered history. One may recall, field trials of this crop were stopped by the government in 2010 by placing a moratorium on the commercial cultivation in India.

The crop under experiment is called Bt. Brinjal with the prefix Bt. standing for a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, the gene of which is inserted in the crop seed so that the crop develops insect resistance. It prevents crop infestation by fruit and shoot borer, which is known to inflict heavy losses on growers.

Related article:  Podcast: Bt eggplant in Bangladesh—the GMO crop that boosted farmer profits 6-fold

It is well known that pesticides have harmful effects on human health and Bt. technology is one way of reducing pesticide use. It is to be expected that there will be shrill objections to the GEAC decision and activists are sure to get hyper-active for the purpose of opposing the decision. New Delhi must stand the ground firmly and not allow research to be hijacked by a few. No one should be allowed to stop the march of science.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend