India should ‘definitely adopt’ new GMO crops, nation’s top biotech cotton expert argues

e c e

The logjam in approval of newer genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds [in India] has catalyzed planting of unauthorized seeds known as herbicide-tolerant [and insect-resistant] (HTBt) [cotton]. Vijay N Waghmare, director of the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, speaks to Vishwa Mohan on the issue:

[Editor’s note: Read India moves to restrict cultivation of illegal but easily acquired GMO herbicide-tolerant, insect-resistant cotton for background on the regulatory situation in India.]

What would you advise farmers who are forced to use HTBt as their cost of production has increased substantially due to weeding problem with the authorized Bt?

Since [the] Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), which [makes the] call on genetically modified organism (GMO), has not approved the HTBt variety, I would suggest farmers not to go for this. It’s illegal.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Europe missed the GMO revolution. Sensible regulation could ensure they don't miss out on CRISPR gene editing

What’s your view as a scientist on GM varieties?

We should definitely adopt new technology like what we did by introducing Bt legally in 2002. It could effectively control bollworm. As a result, areas under cotton crop, production and productivity have increased substantially. Now, we have noticed that even the legally available Bt has become vulnerable to pink bollworm infestation in Gujarat, Maharashtra and southern states.

On the other hand, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan don’t have this problem as these states could go for second crop after terminating cotton in October due to assured irrigation.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend