Developing nations lack biosafety norms to test GM crops: IFPRI

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 20:44

New Delhi: As many as 100 developing countries
lack biosafety norms to test the risks posed by genetically
modified (GM) crops to human health, environment and
biodiversity, says the US-based think tank IFPRI.

"... as many as 100 developing countries lack the
technical and management capacity needed to review tests and
monitor compliance (of GM crops)," International Food and
Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said in a report.

Though a growing number of countries have begun investing
in developing `national biosafety frameworks for GM crops,
but progress is still slow, it said.

Interestingly, "benefits, costs and implications of the
potential introduction of the technology have received only
cursory attention from most regulatory systems," it noted.

Stating that biosafety needs to be a process trusted by
society, the report suggested developing countries to adopt
flexible and efficient biosafety regulatory norms to benefit
not only from the GM crops currently in the pipeline, but also
from unforeseen farm technologies that will emerge in future.

The report comes at a time when the introduction of GM
crops, specially Bt brinjal, is facing opposition from state
governments, health activists among others across the country.

The Centre also today refused to give a go-ahead to
commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal, a genetically-modified
version of the vegetable that is said to be more resistant to
pests.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 20:44

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