‘Produce genetically modified crops after proper assessment’

July 20th, 2011 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 20 (IANS) India should produce genetically modified crops and grains after proper impact assessment studies, said an advisor to the National Resource Management Division of the Planning Commission of India.

“India is cultivating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) like BT Brinjal and BT Cotton. But there is a huge debate on this as risk is involved,” Dipayan Dey told IANS.

“Genetic fragmentation, genetic shift can occur if you cultivate these organisms. So, there is a huge hue and cry on whether to cultivate them or not. And there is divided opinion on this,” he said.

“We (advisory committee on national resource management) have recommended to the Planning Commission to introduce GMOs with proper impact assessment studies,” he said.

First, its potential should be judged, after that there is a certification programme, and only after certification cultivation will be allowed after field trials, Dey added.

He said these things should be taken care of by the ministry and the implementing agencies.

Dey said even if India did not produce GMOs, other countries would be producing those and the products would invariably enter India as the country did not have ecologically-sensitive goods tracking law.

“If we do not use GMOs, we cannot say that we are very safe. Bangladesh will be producing it, Pakistan will be producing it, China will be producing it, the whole world will be producing it. Those crops and grains will invariably come to India,” he stated.

To a question whether India can ban the import of GMOs, Dey said: “You cannot stop importing. You will have to develop resilience and a preventive system. We have to understand whether it is good or bad.”

“Ecologically sensitive goods tracking law is not present in India. It is the system that is faulty,” he added.

Dey was present at a programme Tuesday of St Michael’s Institute of Leadership Education (SMILE) here which, under the aegis of St Michael’s Academy, joined hands with Southern Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Group of Institutions to introduce undergraduate courses in biotechnology in West Bengal.

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