Scientists and farmers divided over GM crops

While scientists, armed with facts and figures, argued that genetically modified (GM) crops would not affect biodiversity, farmers continued to express their anxiety about allowing GM crops on the Indian soil.

Environment and Good Governance Trust had organised a dialogue on GM crops in Bangalore. Dr G Padmanabhan, retired professor of Bio-technology in IISc, felt that there was no need to worry about the adverse impact on biodiversity with the introduction of GM crops. Genetic modification had been in the nature for thousands of years. It is this process that has made available hundreds of varieties of crops in the market.

He said in the case of Bt brinjal the protein works on pests. It would not harm human beings. However, over a few years pests might develop resistance to the protein. However, the farming community seemed to be uninfluenced by the presentations made by the scientists. Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Working President Kodihalli Chandrashekhar maintained that the scientists were not concerned about the impact of Bt technology on biodiversity.

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