Keeping Corporate Power in Check: On Resistance to Bt Brinjal and the Precautionary Principle

Dawid Stanczak*, Tony Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the indefinite moratorium placed on Bt brinjal (eggplant/aubergine) in February 2010 by Jairam Ramesh, then Minister of State for Environment, Bt brinjal has been at the centre of the GM controversy in India. Whilst proponents of biotechnology have promoted Bt brinjal as a prospective solution to issues of food security and the agrarian distress, opponents see it as a failed experiment threatening food safety, biodiversity and farmers’ socio-economic security. In this political contestation, the precautionary principle has largely prevailed over the neoliberal proclivity of the Indian state. Civil society have compellingly deployed discourse of risk and uncertainty surrounding GM crops as a potent framing strategy to hamper any progress on Bt brinjal. In effect, India’s state science has struggled to secure public confidence and trust in the regulatory framework. It has been attacked as completely inadequate, biased and fraught with corporate interests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-80
Number of pages22
JournalStudi sulla Questione Criminale
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

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