Two unrelated stories, the Food and Agriculture Organization putting the number of hungry at 1.02 billion this year and the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee deliberating on the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) brinjal, when seen in the same frame, make for interesting reading.
If there is a bigger story here, it is that the Union government needs to adopt a positive attitude towards GM foods. In India, hunger is a fact of life. At the same time, the country is reaching the limit of output in artificially irrigated areas. It is time technological options to increase output were taken seriously. The Green Revolution has been exhausted and it’s time biotechnology was put to use.
There are safety concerns in using biotech, but they are nowhere as serious as critics believe them to be. In the US and elsewhere, GM foods have gained acceptance and no health and safety problems have been reported. These issues should be sorted quickly and not used to derail the potential of GM foods.