The primary goal of this course to introduce UW students to India’s environmental policies pertaining to conservation and development. Through lectures, discussions and individual research, students will gain insights about how these policies were developed, put in place, and their outcomes.

This blog site highlights student accomplishments and travel experiences to India.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Controversies surrounding the introduction of Bt Brinjal in India

Monika Leininger, Mariah Strike, and Travis Brammer presented an overview of the controversies surrounding the introduction of genetically modified Brinjal (Egg plant) in India.

One way to increase crop yield is to reduce the losses due to pest infestation and diseases. Growing Genetically Modified (GM) crops is promoted as one of the ways to increase crop yield by minimizing losses.

Disease or pest resistant genes from animals are introduced into commonly grown crops thereby increasing their resistance to pest infestations and hence increasing the yield. One such GM crop that is being considered for introduction in India is Bt Brinjal or eggplant, which could increase crop yield and also help increase profit margins for the farmers.

However, introduction of animal-based genetic material into plants raises strong resistance from various sectors of the population due to a variety of reasons. Opponents of Bt Brinjal or other GM crops warn potential side effects such as allergies in humans, pesticide resistance in plants leading to increased chemical use, loss of biodiversity, damage to non-targeted crops through genetic drift, and ethical issues.

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