[Editor’s note: The following is a Q&A with Vasanth Kumar Thimakapura, an internationally-recognised agriculture scientist and social entrepreneur who runs Green Life Science Technologies.]
Thimakapura: [The] Green Revolution is experiencing fatigue. Hence, the next revolution should be the gene revolution.
SOM: You are a strong advocate of GM crops. You give the example of not a single instance of allergic reaction after consuming Genetically-Modified crops in the US in the last 20 years.
Thimakapura: These crops are the same crops which have got additional characteristics. Take for example the famous Mysuru Eerengere Badanekai. If we add BT genes it will become BT brinjal. However, what people think is that it is entirely different. Actually, we are introducing a particularly desirable gene to a different existing variety. These genes give additional protection to crops. It will not change or cause harm to consumer or environment. In the US, suppose these gene crops were causing harm or allergies, a majority of multinational companies should have been closed by now.
SOM: It is said big corporations are favored, farmers are robbed in GM crops.
Thimakapura: It is absolutely wrong because farmers are the final judges. If they price it exorbitantly and if the farmer does not get cost-benefit ratio, he will simply discontinue using that seed from next year. In fact, GM crop has given 100 times more yield.
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