Critics of genetically modified (GM) crops have secured a victory in India, where the environment minister has indefinitely blocked the approval of any further GM varieties.
GM cotton was approved for cultivation in India in 2002, and now covers 80 percent of the country’s cotton farmlands.
In October 2009, the country’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee gave approval for the planting of a GM eggplant produced by Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co., in partnership with Monsanto. The brinjal-variety eggplant had been engineered with genes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringniensis (Bt) to produce pesticide in its tissues.
The approval of the country’s first GM food crop sparked an uproar among farmers, environmentalists, health advocates and other GM critics across India. Critics objected to the unknown health effects of consuming or working near GM foods, as well as the risks that the plants could produce “genetic pollution” by crossing with non-GM varieties.
GM advocates claim that engineered foods are needed to address global food shortages, an assertion that critics reject.
Source: Victory against Frankenfoods: India blocks harvesting of GM crops – naturalnews
Date: 12 July 2010