Science, Tech & Environment

Can genetically engineered crops help feed the world?

This week, India rejected what would have been the country's first genetically modified food crop, a transgenic eggplant.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

The company that developed it, an Indian subsidiary of Monsanto, claims the crop can reduce pesticide use and boost yields. But the Indian government has decided not to approve the crop until an independent assessment is conducted to examine possible impacts on human health and the environment.

What does this mean for the future of GM crops in India and elsewhere? And does this technology have a role to play in feeding the world's hungry?

The World's Marco Werman put these questions to Dr. Lisa Weasel. She's a professor of biology at Portland State University and the author of Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food. She writes that GM crops are more of "a condiment than a main course" in addressing global food security.

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