Pakistan opens door to GM crops

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The plant breeders rights bill . . . has been revived this year and re-launched as a 2015 bill . . .

The bill aims at establishing a viable seed industry for food security and ensuring the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to farmers.

The bill permits registration of GM crops provided no terminator technology is involved in the development of seed variety.

What has offended the farmers’ community in particular is preventing them from carrying on age-old practice of re-using the saved seeds for next crop. They will have to buy seeds for each crop from the companies at a higher cost. This is unaffordable for small farmers, at least, and soon they may have to quit the farming.

The foreign office’s opposition to GM seeds is a significant matter as conveyed by Environmental Protection Agency’s chief during the proceedings of a public interest petition in Lahore High Court. While appearing on behalf of the federation on May 14, 2014, he said: “the Foreign Office has also conveyed its concern to the Climate Change Division that the subject of GM seeds is a matter of grave concern for national security and trade. It can be used as a biological weapon of mass destruction to destroy Pakistan’s major crops such as potato, wheat, rice, corn, cotton and vegetables through modified viruses, bacteria and other parasites.”

Read full, original post: Law to protect plant breeders

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