India’s former Food Minister: ‘GMOs only way to feed growing population’

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With the government deciding to roll out the food security law, former Food Minister and senior Congress MP K V Thomas [on January 24] said encouraging Genetically Modified (GM) crops is the only way the country can feed its growing population.

Thomas, who piloted the National Food Security Bill in Parliament before it became law during his tenure in the Food Ministry in 2013, slammed environmentalists for opposing GM food, citing “flimsy reasons”.

“We don’t have a way out. We should not unnecessarily oppose GM without any scientific reasons. How are you going to feed such a huge population? That is the big question. Our production and productivity is slow,” Thomas told PTI.

The senior leader’s support to GM crops is expected to kick up a debate in Congress, as many of his party colleagues, including former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, are its strong opponents.

. . . .

Observing that the presence of seed giants like Monsanto is the reason for opposition from certain quarters, he said India should utilise its facilities like Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to carry out research and experiments in the area.

“We have got eminent scientists. Make use of their services,” he said.

His remarks come days after Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the National Food Security Law would be implemented in all states and Union Territories, barring Tamil Nadu, by April this year.

Read full, original post: Encouraging GM food crops only way out for India: K V Thomas

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