Are we ready for genetically modified vegetables?
You may soon find India’s first genetically modified vegetable, Bt brinjal, making its way to your vegetable market.
The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, which is responsible for approval of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered products, on Wednesday approved the environmental release of the vegetable but it still has to get a nod from the central government.
“Bt brinjal should not be launched in the country as the Bt toxin gene produces poison and when it can harm pests, where’s the proof that it won’t be harmful to humans?” says Suman Sahia, Convener of Gene Campaign.
A report by Debi Barker, Executive Director of the International Forum on Globalization, says that genetically modified crops can spread in the environment and contaminate other crops and plants.
Concerns over their effect on wildlife and human health have been expressed all over the globe.
Bollywood filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt and Ajay Kanchan released a documentary in March 2009 called “Poison on Platter” to create awareness about genetically modified products in the public.
“We want to highlight the fact that you cannot tamper with Mother Nature without sensitising the nation first,” Bhatt said.
Will Bt brinjal set a trend and we’ll have other genetically modified vegetable as well?
As a consumer, would you prefer a genetically modified vegetable over a naturally grown one?