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At the time when many states do not appear to be keen on allowing field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan has come out with a solution, suggesting that the country’s premier research institution – Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – should organize an “All India Coordinated Project” for the field testing of genetically engineered crops in the farms of Agriculture Universities as it will provide a uniformed method of assessment.
Making a point that the country would not be able to assess the benefits and risks (of GM crops) in a reliable manner unless field testing is permitted, he has also suggested that the government should establish a national bio-safety regulatory authority to look after the entire issue of bio-safety and encourage research in public institutions in the field of molecular biology and genetic engineering.
Referring to a question on permitting scientists to undertake field trials in GM varieties and crops, Swaminathan – father of India’s green revolution – told TOI, “The question of permitting scientists to undertake field trials with GM varieties and crops has been a matter of controversy, although field trials are absolutely essential to assess risks and benefits”.
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“Sooner this is done, the greater will be the public confidence in the procedures adopted for assessing risks and benefits”, said Swaminathan in the backdrop of a complete standstill on the issue of field trials in many states.
Read full, original post: Father of green revolution MS Swaminathan pitches for field trials of GM crops