According to an account in the Hindustan Times, the Indian government has decided to allow field testing of two GM crops, mustard and brinjal (eggplant). This decision reverses a moratorium set in 2009 by the previous government on testing such crops.
The crops approved have been genetically engineered the eggplants will contain genes from the bt soil bacterium that produce a protein that is lethal for crop pests. Several Indian states have asked agriculture universities to ensure compliance with safety conditions.
Representatives of Greenpeace submitted a so-called Right to Information or RTI request to the government on this issue. Greenpeace has frequently taken an anti-GM stance on the use of genetically engineered crops, citing the supposed lack of proven safety.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava comments India was one of the main beneficiaries of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, led by ACSH co-founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. Millions of lives were saved by the use of the technologies he pioneered. Now, India stands on the threshold of yet another new technology genetic engineering that will help to feed India s burgeoning population well into the future. Groups such as Greenpeace, she continued, are putting a spoke in the wheel of progress they insist on proving safety, which is essentially impossible, before allowing the use of genetic engineering. Their stance is totally incompatible with science, and serves only to promote their self-invented image as protectors of public health and the environment.
For scientifically sound information about the use of genetic engineering in agriculture, see ACSH s publication Food and You: A Guide to Modern Agricultural Biotechnology, available here.