Congress draws flak for promising GM crops in manifesto

The Congress has earned the wrath of farm activists for promising genetically-modified (GM) crops in its election manifesto.

The cultivation of GM food crops continues to be a controversial issue and activists contend that they may have adverse effects leading to diseases like cancer.

The manifesto, which Congress president Rahul Gandhi released in Mangaluru, promises creation of an Agricultural Corridor. One of the focus areas of this corridor will be the ‘use of high-tech agriculture technologies and exploring genetically-modified varieties.’

This has sparked outrage on social media platforms.

“Disappointing and disgusting that Congress promised GM crop varieties in its election manifesto in Karnataka. You are promising you will be destructive?” Kavitha Kuruganti, convenor, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), asked Rahul Gandhi in a tweet. 

Another activist Ishteyaque Ahmad wrote: "How can your Karnataka manifesto promise GMO seeds when your own UPA government put the moratorium on GM seeds? How foolish?”

During the Congress-led UPA regime, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had placed a moratorium on one BT Brinjal experiment. His successor Jayanthi Natarajan held back clearances that had been given for food crop trials. Her successor M Veerappa Moily, who headed the panel that prepared the Congress' manifesto in Karnataka, cleared field trials of food crops.

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Congress draws flak for promising GM crops in manifesto

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