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Feb 22, 2010

WSJ Opinion Asia Op-Ed: Bt Brinjal, India's GM Crop Mistake

The Wall Street Journal's Asia Opinion section has published an op-ed by Mr. Kumar a farmer who grows brinjal (eggplant) and other vegetables on 120 acres in Tamil Nadu, who is also a member of Truth About Trade & Technology's Global Farmer Network. 

According to Mr. Kumar, the Indian government's decision to ban release of Bt brinjal was a rejection of the "Gene Revolution" and it "threatens the ability of Indian farmers to increase the yield, quality and safety of the food they produce for their more than one billion fellow citizens."

Mr. Kumar believes that the government's decision had nothing to do with safety.  Rather, the government "bowed to political pressure from Greenpeace and other antibiotechnology organizations."

He supports the release of BT brinjal as it "has the potential to let us produce better and safer food. Its adoption would cause prices for consumers to fall. We would improve our ability to fight malnutrition, which is a major problem for the people of India. The success of genetically modified brinjal also would create a compound effect by encouraging the application of biotechnology to other food crops. ... Biotechnology also would deliver an economic benefit. Higher farm productivity would help address the looming problem of income disparity between the rich and the poor, as well as between urban areas and rural regions. "

For more see:  Rajesh, Kumar. India's Genetically Modified Mistake; Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh could have given his citizens access to safer and cheaper brinjal—but he didn't. Why? Wall Street Journal, Opinion Asia, 22 Feb. 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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