The Indian government has put a hold, pending further study, on approving genetically modified eggplants. Government scientists approved the new crop last year, but this new move from Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh comes in response to public concerns, according to the BBC:
The minister said "independent scientific studies" were needed to establish "the safety of the product from the point of view of its long-term impact on human health and environment".
Mr Ramesh said it was "a difficult decision to make" since he had to "balance science and society".
"The decision is responsible to science and responsive to society," he said.
The New York Times has a story on what the Republicans hope to offer as a new health-care bill, if the Democrats and President Obama scrap the current legislation, which they are unlikely to do. In their plans, Republicans emphasize a free market -- their bill would provide tax credits to individuals and small businesses, expand high-risk pools, reform medical malpractice law, and allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines.
It's not surprising that the response to the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad was a collective, "All that fuss for that?" The spot mostly features his mom, Pam Tebow gushing about her miracle baby, only to be tackled by the son who grew up to be a Heisman Trophy winner. Both had big smiles for the camera.
Washington Monthlyhas a fantastic feature detailing the efforts of ultra-conservatives to rewrite textbooks for Texas schools. Since Texas is such a big market, it will affect what's in textbooks around the country. The effort had been reported on before, but Mariah Blake adds some history, noting that the involvement of conservatives grew after efforts in the 1960s to teach a more inclusive history:
Many state school systems are facing
a "funding cliff" next year when their federal stimulus money runs out,
which was the kind of dramatic budget shortfall the stimulus money was
meant to prevent in the first place. Most states spent the bulk of the
funds last year and this year, and are left with little. But a few
states spent everything, leaving nothing for the coming academic year,
according to the New York Times.