Environment : Bt Brinjal
Indian scientists, politicians and environmental actitivists remain sharply divided over the issue of allowing the genetically modified vegetable to hit the market.
Bt Brinjal is a trans-genic brinjal created by inserting a gene (Cry 1Ac) from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringenisis (Bt) into brinjal.
The insertion of the gene into the vegetable is said to give the plant resistance against insects like the brinjal fruit and shoot borer. Upon ingestion of the Bt toxin, the insect’s digestive processes are disrupted, ultimately resulting in its death.
The government’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), which cleared Bt Brinjal for commercial release in October, said it will reduce the farmers’ dependence on pesticides and enable higher yields.
Monsanto, the seed company , advocating the introduction of this crop has been exercising all sorts of pressure on the government. Justice Bhargava in his report submitted to the Parliamentary Committee complained against the extraordinary pressures he was subjected to support this GM crop.
All sorts of GM crops are entering the market. Certain issues stand out. We have a large variety – more than 3000 – of brinjals in India. All this rich genetic diversity will be lost in a few years if the bt brinjal is introduced. Besides the farmers who have been accustomed to produce their own seeds will be unable to do so and will have to depend on Monsanto for seeds. This will give the Company a monopoly over the seed market.
We now hear of GM potato, tomato and so on. They have not been properly tested. We do not know how far they are carcinogenic. Pesticides like endosulphan which were supposed to fight the diseases to which the cashew trees were affected has been playing havoc in Coastal Karnataka. I would like to know your views on these Genetically modified crops. How far will the help or harm Indian agriculture? What about the age old rights of the farmer to produce his own seeds? And once out native gene-banks are destroyed where would we be? Have we any right to destroy the p which has been handed down to us without passing them on to our children? GM crops are the result of gene flow from one species to another. What is the new species generates another species and that us dangerous to mankind?
This discussion is a prelude to more such discussions on Environmental studies.
In this blog I would like all of you to discuss as many GM crops as you can. Please point out the dangers of bio-pesticides and folixides ( like Dioxin) which was sprayed by American planes to destroy the thick forests . Dioxin was sprayed by planes in order to flush out the Viet Minh guerillas. The world has forced the US to clean up the mess in Vietnam. Can we force the buyers of Union Carbide to clean up Bhopal?
I should be happy if all of you work together in this blog on genetically. Modified crops, bio-pesticides, carcinogenic (cancer producing) pesticides etc.,
You should remember that a number of questions are asked on Environment both at the Prelims and the Mains.
My very first blog Blog no 1 dealt with environmental hazards. I would advise you to go to tags and click on environment. It will lead you to the blog.