GM potatoes 'set to be approved in India'11/06/2003 - 11:34:21
A genetically modified potato containing extra nutrients is expected to be approved for sale in India within six months, it was reported today.
Dr Manju Sharma, head of India’s Department of Biotechnology, told the BBC the potatoes would be handed out free to millions of poor schoolchildren in a bid to reduce malnutrition rates.
“There has been a serious concern that malnutrition is one of the reasons (for) the blindness, the vitamin A deficiency, the protein deficiency. So it is really a very important global concern, particularly in the developing world,” she told the BBC.
The potatoes, which contain a third than normal, were created by adding a gene from the protein-rich amaranth plant.
The “protato”, as it has become known, is said to be in the final stages of being approved by the government in New Delhi.
But critics told the BBC they saw the plan as risky, naive and a propaganda tool to promote GM foods in India.
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