GENETICALLY-MODIFIED plants have a lot of people very nervous: the subject brings up a lot of automatic negative knee-jerk, reflexive, unthinking, thanks to Monsanto and their GM tar-baby of Round-Up-resistant GM crops.
But GM plants are beneficial, and modifying genetics has been done by gardeners even before Gregor Mendel and his pea-pods, and later, with the discovery of the DNA double helix by Watson and Crick from Rosalind Franklin's X-ray diffraction image. And that's why India has started to get with GM crops, according to an article in io9 by Tim Barribeau, "How genetically modified crops are helping poor farmers in India" — and no Monsanto shake-down.
|Franklin's X-ray image|
The debate about widespread use of genetically modified crops is still contentious. On one hand, you have the strong-arm tactics from the likes of the Monsanto corporation. On the other, there are stories like this. By using a special form of genetically modified cotton, smallhold farmers in India have been able to substantially increase their crop output — and quality of life.
The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has an abstract of this program in PDF that gives more details of how well this is working.