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Viewpoint: ‘Doctrinal’ objections to GMO crops shouldn’t trump science amid farmer protests in India

Agriculture is one sector that has been not just been completely bypassed by economic reforms but also by innovations in science and technology. The reason is simple: deaf to the calls of reason and commonsense, our political masters respond only to the cry-wolf stories peddled by an assortment of activists who have waged a jihad against reforms, rationality and progress.

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Things have come to such a pass that farmers have started an agitation against the Luddite attitude of the authorities. They are campaigning in Maharashtra’s Akola district [in India] for the right to sow the banned herbicide-tolerant Bt (HTBT) cotton seeds.

Since few good deeds go unpunished in India, repression has been unleashed against the agitating farmers; a dozen of them have been booked by the police. The protest is being organized by the [farmer’s union] Shetkari Sanghatana …. The Sanghatana is opposed to the Union government’s ban on the use of genetically modified Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) cotton and brinjal seeds …. It needs to be pointed out that …. [t]he objections to GM crops are doctrinal rather than fact-based ….

Read full, original article: Dogma must not trump science on GM seeds

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