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Jakarta Post

Quiet ‘GMO’ revolution in the Third World

  • Mark Lynas

Oxford, UK   /   Tue, September 20 2016   /  09:17 am

For more than a decade controversy has raged in the world’s media about whether genetically engineered crops are dangerous, as many environmentalists have long claimed.

Yet away from the headlines, a quiet revolution has been unfolding in Asia. In Bangladesh, thousands of smallholder farmers are engaged in successfully growing the world’s first GM food crop expressly developed for poorer countries. Indonesia is not far behind.

Bangladesh’s new crop — a genetically modified eggplant, called “Bt brinjal”, which is resistant to insect pests — is the “GMO” that anti-GMO activists don’t want you to know about. Opponents of genetic engineering technology insist that GMO crops are unsafe for human consumption and also result in more pesticide use.

They also claim that GM seeds do not reproduce and that farmers have to go back to seed companies year aft...