A genetically modified aubergine riles India. But it could help solve a hunger crisis.
BANGALORE, India — In India, the humble eggplant mainly featured in dinner-table conversations that measured the popularity of the baingan bharta (spicy roasted eggplant) against the achaari baingan (pickle-style baby eggplant) and the bharvaan baingan (stuffed eggplant).
Now as a genetically modified (GM) strain of eggplant heads to dinner plates, the innocuous vegetable is at the center of a more vital debate with a global echo. Critics are weighing the potential health hazards posed by genetically modified crops against their role in bringing about a second food revolution in populous India.
The number of hungry people in the world rose to over 1 billion this year, and every seventh person on the planet goes without food, says a U.N. report. In India growing food in adequate quantities and at prices the poor can afford amplifies the challenge.
The country’s biotechnology regulator and the government’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee have recently cleared the food crop called Bt brinjal as safe for human consumption, paving the way for more such clearances...MORE...
- Category: Science & Technology