Chicken is out, Bt Brinjal is in! Do we say Genetically engineered food?

We have been hearing about Genetically engineered chicken being produced to increase the food supply in various parts of the world. But guess what? Chicken is now out of fashion rather Brinjal is in! Yes that’s true, Brinjal is being Genetically engineered and India is about to get it in their food market. Will it happen?

Alright, first of all for those who do not know what Brinjal is, it’s actually a vegetable type which looks something like this (Check the picture of it below).

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has promised that GM food will not be allowed into the country without a public consultation. He is currently going to be attending “public” consultations in seven cities in India.

The genetically modified seeds have to be approved by the Govt. of India to be sold in our country. They have not yet been approved and tomorrow’s meeting with the minister is one of the many forums he is conducting country wide (Tomorrow it’s in my city), to talk to all groups involved. We are right now not consuming them because they have not yet been approved.

At tomorrow’s meeting, we can get to hear both sides of the argument, and also interact with many people who feel strongly about this… and plus it is one of those rare occasions when government higher-ups interacts with citizens

During the public consultations in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad (that happened thus far) there has been strong protest from the majority of the public to the introduction of Bt Brinjal (each for their own reasons).  There are several news items on this matter.  The public consultations are being arranged on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).  In this context, the Ministries of Science & Technology (Minister: P Chavan) and Agriculture (Minister: Sharad Pawar) have gone out of their way to state that the scientists have cleared it and that’s the last word.

The experts in this case, of course, are scientists from the companies who directly benefit from its introduction.

Meanwhile, most of the major Brinjal producing states have stated in various ways that they would not allow Bt Brinjal.  It is to be noted that Jairam Ramesh (Minister of Environment and Forests) has written to all state govts asking for their position on the issue (as part of his consultation process).

Several farmers groups have come out in opposition. There is intense activity out there.  The great part about the public consultation process is that diverse viewpoints are being heard.  We’ll see how the decision will be made at the end.  Exciting times to be in! 🙂

My Verdict: Say No to artificial junk and ask for original food!

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  1. I am still of opinion that we MAY be already consuming BT BRIN…Who knows, Just a wild guess.
    How would our farmers diff while planting seeds ???? Just few days before, I saw report in some local news channel.
    It showed how farmers were cheated with fake sunflower seeds worth thousands….when the flowers came up there were no seeds in them just the petals 🙂
    So someone might have already flushed BT BRIN seeds here……

    Slightlly moving from BRIN ….
    Even the fruits which we get in markets now-a-days like Grapes, Apples(sticker ones saying imported from australia :-)) look very good from outside bright RED but never taste as gud as they look.
    They definitely taste differnet from ones which I slightly remember tasting when I was young :-). All those pesticdes,fungicides,bacticides,viricides yawk.
    With billion people, we may be live testing ground for future vaccines, GM fruits & what not….

    Next time see a brinjal curry —>say “ALL IS WELL :-)”

  2. Speaking of “experts” (and diverting a bit from the topic too), recently CNN-IBN published an expose showing how the World Health Organisation has hyped up the scare of Swine Flu, primarily because there are a lot of directors of WHO, who will get benefitted by the vaccines. Many pharma companies bought pressure to create this hype so as to enable their sales.

    Also, prior to the latest scandal on climate change ( a report said that glaciers on Himalayas will melt by 2035 only to be withdrawn yesterday!), a Danish newspaper (i think) published an expose, in which someone hacked into the e-mails of scientists working with IPCC (the body on whose findings all world leaders depend on) were clearly discussing on how to increase the numbers so that the threat can be hyped up, thereby helping companies!!

    Hearing all such things, surely we can never take the value of experts at face value. On a lighter note, if Sharad Pawar is saying the experts word is the last word, there must be something fishy going on !

  3. Just got notified an hour ago. The minister, Jairam Ramesh, changed his plans. The public consultation in Hyderabad that was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed to Jan 31st. In case, anyone was planning to attend.

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