Decision on GM crops must be based on data, says ABLE-AG

The government should take decisions about genetically modified (GM) crops on the basis of "scientific" evaluation and data, and not due to criticism of the technology without any scientific reasons, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group has said.

PTI| Updated: Sep 21, 2014, 13:03 PM IST
Decision on GM crops must be based on data, says ABLE-AG

Mumbai: The government should take decisions about genetically modified (GM) crops on the basis of "scientific" evaluation and data, and not due to criticism of the technology without any scientific reasons, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group has said.

"Our country has a stringent regulatory approval process for GM crops, which is at par with the world. Field trials are conducted based on strict guidelines set by the government. Unless it is satisfied with all the data, no large scale trials are allowed in the country," Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group (ABLE-AG) Chairman Ram Kaundinya said.

Halting field trials would mean questioning our system which is discouraging, he said.

Blending technology with conventional plant breeding is essential to improve crop yields and focus should be on develop high priority "traits" through advanced plant breeding techniques where traditional plant breeding may not have solutions, he said.

"Despite producing 260 million tonne of food grains in 2013-14, we are behind the target in pulses, oilseeds and vegetables. We already import 20 per cent of our pulses requirement and 50 per cent of our edible oil requirement. GM crops will help reduce imports and make us self reliant," he claimed.

After India allowed planting of Bt Cotton in 2002, it transformed from being an importer of cotton in 2002, to the second largest exporter of cotton, he said.