Press Esc to close
Tuesday 24 January 2017
News updated at 8:16 PM IST
Weather
Max: 29.5°C
Min : 15.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Nobel laureate bats for GM crops to fight hunger

Mysuru: Dec 15, 2015, DHNS
Nobel laureate Sir Richard John Roberts delivers a talk at the centenary lecture series organised by the University of Mysore on Monday. DH PHOTO
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) should be promoted in a big way to ensure enough food production in developing countries, Nobel laureate Sir Richard John Roberts has said, but advocated production of seeds of local food crops preferably by government agencies.

He was delivering a talk on ‘A Crime Against Humanity’ under the centenary lecture series organised by the University of Mysore on Monday. An English biochemist and molecular biologist, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993.

Explaining the importance of food, Sir Roberts said when people were hungry, they needed food and would think of nutritious food only when they had sufficient food to satiate their hunger. “So, medicines for ailments is not a hungry man’s priority. Rich European countries are opposing introduction of GM crops because they have sufficient food. Their propaganda against GM crops is affecting hungry people in the developing nations. To help people in need, we need more science in politics and less politics in science,” he said.

Describing the topic itself as controversial, he asked why should not the denial of food to people in developing nations by developed nations be considered a crime against humanity. “The developed nations are politicising the issue, making the people in need scapegoats. Plants have been modified gradually to meet the needs of the people ever since the inception of agriculture. In GM plants, single-disease resistance can be engineered, which can be described as precision agriculture. GM crops can do wonders to the food supply chain,” he warned.

Sir Roberts said GM crops had been developed over ages on the fields, but in a crude way, which were called hybrids. “The present engineering of GM crops is precise and the results are evident. In India, in the year 2001, the use of pesticides used to produce 308 kg of hybrid cotton was 5,708 tonnes, while in 2013, for GM BT cotton, the use of pesticides was reduced to 222 tonnes for harvesting 500 kg of the produce.

Farmers have been purchasing hybrid seeds from big companies for cultivation for a long time now and the fear that farmers will be made dependent on these companies if GM crops are introduced are unfounded. Farmers need not depend on private companies for seeds. Government research institutions can develop and distribute GM seeds,” he said. Vice-Chancellor K S Rangappa and Registrar C Basavaraju were present.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Inmates of Netaji subhash Chandra Bose Central Jail perform at a programe on Netaji's birth...

Inmates of Netaji subhash Chandra Bose Central Jail perform at a programe on Netaji's birth...

The contingent of Indian Navy marching past during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day...

The contingent of Indian Navy marching past during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day...

Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra (L) and Katrina Kaif at the 'Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017...

Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra (L) and Katrina Kaif at the 'Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017...

Camel mounted Indian Border Security Force soldiers march during the full dress rehearsal for...

Camel mounted Indian Border Security Force soldiers march during the full dress rehearsal for...

An injured is taken away for treatment after police resorted lathicharge to disperse protesters...

An injured is taken away for treatment after police resorted lathicharge to disperse protesters...

Riot Control Police take away pro-Jallikattu protesters after a clash at the Marina Beach...

Riot Control Police take away pro-Jallikattu protesters after a clash at the Marina Beach...

A Pro-Jallikattu protester throws bottle at the police during a violent clash near Marina Beach...

A Pro-Jallikattu protester throws bottle at the police during a violent clash near Marina Beach...

A pro-Jallikattu protester throwing bottles at police personnel during a clash near Marina...

A pro-Jallikattu protester throwing bottles at police personnel during a clash near Marina...

A worker stitches the national flag at a workshop on the occasion of Republic Day in Bhiwandi...

A worker stitches the national flag at a workshop on the occasion of Republic Day in Bhiwandi...

Actors Jackie Chan and Sonu Sood along with the other starcast during a promotional event...

Actors Jackie Chan and Sonu Sood along with the other starcast during a promotional event...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523