HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » Nature Editorial Comment:...

Sat Jan 30, 2016, 01:19 PM

Nature Editorial Comment: India needs home-grown GM food to stop starvation.

The following text is excerpted from a "World View" comment in Nature, one of the world's highest impact scientific journals:

At the beginning of this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a road map to guide India’s science and technology over the next two decades. Launched during the Indian Science Congress at the University of Mysore, the plan signalled a cautious approach to techniques such as genetically modified (GM) crops, noting that “some aspects of biotechnology have posed serious legal and ethical problems in recent years”. That is true, but a different and much larger problem looms for India. According to the 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects report, India will surpass China by early next decade as the most populous country on Earth, with the most mouths to feed. India is already classed as having a ‘serious’ hunger problem, according to the 2015 Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute. There is a danger that many of these new Indians will not have sufficient food.

Where can additional food come from? Grain production is stagnant, and rapid urbanization is reducing available land. To increase food production, India needs to invest in modern agricultural methods, including GM crops.

Indian researchers have shown that they have the expertise to generate GM plants, most obviously the pest-resistant cotton that is now widely grown in India. But almost all of this work has relied on molecular-biology research done elsewhere...

...India should stop trying to build the Taj Mahal with borrowed bricks. We need a concerted effort at home to discover and manipulate relevant genes in indigenous organisms and crops (such as chickpea and rice). Indian microbial institutes should take up projects in this direction, because most of the currently used genes for transgenic generation are of microbial origin. That requires a change in direction from an Indian GM-food strategy that has traditionally aimed at quick product development instead of careful assessment of the underlying science.

“Some GM crops designed abroad need more water than is usually available in some parts of India.”
Such home-grown GM crops would also reduce reliance on transgenic technology produced by multinational companies, which is expensive and rarely optimized for the conditions of specific regions. Some GM crops designed abroad need more water than is usually available in some parts of India, for example, putting great stress on farmers....


Full text (which may or may not be behind a firewall) is here: Nature 529, 439 (28 January 2016)

Enjoy the weekend!

3 replies, 925 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nature Editorial Comment: India needs home-grown GM food to stop starvation. (Original post)
NNadir Jan 2016 OP
SoLeftIAmRight Jan 2016 #1
GliderGuider Jan 2016 #2
Nihil Feb 2016 #3

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 09:56 PM

1. sounds like they need to reduce population

 

...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 11:16 PM

2. Yes, it does.

 

And they will reduce their population. But I don't think anyone is going to like any of the ways it might happen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 09:02 AM

3. +1 (n/t)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread