India should allow GMOs to boost lagging soybean yields, US says

| | October 4, 2017
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Indian women remove weeds from their soybean crop in Kurana village, on the outskirts of the central Indian city of Bhopal.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

“For India to increase production, it should allow the use of innovative technologies, including GMOs,” said Scott Sindelar [the agriculture representative of the American Embassy in Delhi] at a conference in the capital.

Despite its lofty position in the global rankings, India produces barely a tenth of America’s output of 120m tonnes [of soybean crop], despite a considerably higher population that mainly purchases vegetarian ingredients, and a massive feed market.

As a result the country must find ways to boost production and supply, Sindelar added.

Soybean is among the few plants to provide high quality protein and nutrients with low levels of saturated fat, according to Ratan Sharma, head of the soy food programme of the US Soybean Export Council.

As such, the government should include soy as the main nutritional ingredient for a range of nutrition and child welfare programmes, Sharma urged.

Yet India is missing a trick due to its focus on using soy as feed, resulting in a lack of specialty beans grown there for human consumption. This has in turn been limiting the growth of soy food sector with limited value addition possibilities.  

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: US calls on India to open up to GM soybean

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