Study indicates farmers not keen on GM crops
New Delhi: In the backdrop of the controversy
over the safety of use of Bt brinjal in the country, a study
has claimed that most farmers do not favour genetically
modified seeds for producing food crops while there is also a
lack of information among consumers about its usage.
Around 4,000 farmers and 2,500 consumers nationwide were
surveyed in the last three-year in five states jointly by Gene
Campaign, an NGO and Hyderabad University to study the general
attitudes and perception of farmers and consumers towards GM
seeds and foods.
"Among farmers, about 40 per cent said they were willing
to cultivate cash crops with modified seeds (often referred to
as transgenic) while 80 per cent refused to use such seeds,
that contain a poison to control pests, for producing food
crops," says the study.
It also noted that their attitude towards food was
conservative and there was sacredness attached with it.
About 90 per cent of farmers did not agree to take the
risk to use technology that allows the use of chemicals to
control all weeds effortlessly but also destroyed surrounding
flora, as per the study.
The seed "modified" with animal or insect parts were
viewed as "tempered," not normal and natural and different
from regular seeds, said Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign,
claiming that such perception was seen across all age groups
and educational status`.
However, the respondents, both farmers and consumers,
trusted the government with respect to agriculture and food
technologies rather than the media or NGOs or for that matter
scientists, according to the study.
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