Viewpoint: Criticism of GMO crops in India is ‘deeply flawed’

| | December 12, 2018
Screen Shot at AM e
An Indian scientist points to a patch of genetically modified (GM) rapeseed crop under trial in New Delhi, India. (Image: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee)
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A review article, “Modern technologies for sustainable food and nutrition security,” which appeared in the November 25 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Current Science, is deeply worrying. The article was authored by geneticist P.C. Kesavan and leading agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan and describes Bt cotton as a “failure.” As the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, K. VijayRaghavan, rightly said, this paper is “deeply flawed.” It has the potential to mislead the public and the political system.

While the general public can be easily swayed by unauthenticated reports, the authors, as scientists, should have relied on hardcore scientific evidence before making such adverse comments.

Data from a large number of peer-reviewed publications have shown that, on average, GM technology adoption has reduced pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yield by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

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Data from a billion animals fed on GM corn have not indicated any health hazards …. It is preposterous to think that governments would allow their people and animals to be fed “poisonous” food. Even reports based on faulty studies in experimental animals that stated that GMOs cause cancer were withdrawn. Major food safety authorities of the world have rejected these findings.

Read full, original article: Don’t believe the anti-GMO campaign

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