Truth About GM Crops: Government Must Stand Up To Those Who Hinder India’s Agriculture Growth
A shorter version (reduced by 90.0%) can be found on IndiaSpeaks.
This is an extended summary, original article can be found here
Truth About GM Crops: Government Must Stand Up To Those Who Hinder India’s Agriculture Growth.
Fear, scepticism, rejection, and anxiety in humans are normal reactions to anything new that they encounter.
Those were the early days of the gene revolution when recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques were used to cut DNA into pieces and select the piece needed to insert it into another organism.
But people who started protesting the technology called them Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), a misnomer because all organisms are genetically modified either in nature or by human intervention.
Scientists lost this fight a long time ago in the war of words.
It took hardly 25 years for scientists to start isolating DNA from living organisms and manipulating it in the laboratory to express it the way they desired.
They developed a set of voluntary guidelines for scientists which today is the world famous National Institutes of Health (NIH) Voluntary Code of Guidelines for rDNA research.
India in fact is a flashpoint for anti-tech activism whose ferociousness is unmatched anywhere in the developing world.
Today, they have no champions or supporters almost anywhere in the world and are frustrated that their dream of ushering in a socialist world has crumbled.
Almost all of these anti-GM activists know and understand that it is a safe technology as there has not been single instance of verifiable harm from GM crops cultivated in over 30 countries since 1996, but are not willing to give it up by bringing up tangential social, economic and political issues and have completely politicised the movement.
The organic agriculturist lobby has joined hands with them and oppose GM crops.
Nothing is sustainable if it is not economically viable.
These elite activists are also joined by all and sundry litterateurs, actors, journalists, farmer groups, writers, novelists, and mostly social scientists, all of whom have a combined scientific knowledge of zero.
The net result is that GM crops are held in limbo for years, which is exactly the situation in India with respect to Bt brinjal and GM mustard.
The net result is that Indias agricultural progress is stuck in the mud.
If this is not success, what else is? The antis have consistently told the ignorant politicians that Bt cotton is a big failure.
The fact of the matter is that GM crops were first commercialised in the United States in 1996 and spread to over 30 countries, with more than 2 billion hectares planted, and more than two trillion meals with GM foods have been served.
The answer is a resounding NO, but the challenge is how to keep it environmentally sustainable to feed more than 11 billion people by the end of this century.
That is not so now.
It is the same bacterial spore spray that has been used to control insects biologically for almost 100 years and by organic farmers as well..
What modern-day genetic engineers have done is to isolate that gene that kills the specific insect pest, and insert it into the plant itself.
So, all this hullaballoo about the Bt toxin being toxic to women, girls and causing skin rashes, and it having killed cattle, sheep and peacocks is a bunch of cooked-up stories of the anti-technology brigade in India.
Such a cell is called a transformed cell and is allowed to mature into a full plant where the entire plant body carries the inserted DNA in all its cells.
This is where the choke point is in most countries where there has not been an exponential growth in GM crops adoption.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, a woman agriculture minister has taken bold steps to commercialise Bt brinjal much against the opposition to it, and farmers are enjoying the fruits of such a bold decision.
The Narendra Modi government must be bold enough to approve GM mustard and Bt brinjal post-haste and up-end the activists who are coming in the way of the nations agricultural progress.
Stats For Nerds:
Original Length 2078
Summary Length 3915
Summary Ratio: -88.4