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!