As Bt takes centrestage in what often is percieved as media created pseudo-hype, her’s what our news organisations are reporting wrt Bt. These are a few articles that I found interesting.
Sept 23 2006, Indian Express
SC stays field trials of genetically modified products
The order came from a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal. The order will not apply to field trials of GM products already underway, implying that trials on BT brinjal and BT cotton can proceed. But their approval by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) will not happen till court orders.
The petitioner said the move to allow large-scale field trials of BT brinjal by biotech company Mahyco, an Indian collaborative and partner company of Monsanto, if not checked would lead to untold hardships to the farmers and large-scale destruction of crops. The matter will come up for hearing on October 13.
Sept 15 2006, Indian Express.
Bt cotton gives Punjab a record yield
Punjab is all set to witness the highest cotton production in last 16 years, with 27.5 lakh bales of cotton expected this year. The highest production last recorded was in 1989-90, when the state produced 26.5 lakh bales of cotton.
The record production is being attributed to the use of Bt or other hybrid varieties of cotton across 90 per cent fo the Punjab cotton belt. Besides higher yield, the improvised cotton varieties have lowered costs due to negligible use of pesticide.
Sept 2 2006, The Washington Post (IE)
For the first time, genetically engineered cells have suceesfully wiped out cancer cells, in two patients. It is too early to say whether they have been cured but researchers say it is a step in the right direction.
Sept 6 2006, The Times of India
Unborn Designs (Editorial)
Ian Wilmut, the man who created Dolly the sheep in 1996 and caused worldwide biotech angst, has written a book called: After Dolly: The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning.
In it he says: “Like most people I disapprove strongly of the idea of an embryo coaxed to life for shallow reasons of status, preference, or style.
Any such work is unsavoury because it reduces children to consumer objects that can be ‘accessorised’ according to the parents’ whims.
As many ethicists have argued, love for offspring should not be contingent upon the characteristics they possess”.