“It is the scientists who are asking for regulation and precaution”

GM controversy: In conversation, Suman Sahai, geneticist, Padma Shree awardee and winner of 2004 Borlaug Award for contribution to agriculture and environment

prasanna

Prasanna Mohanty | January 21, 2013


Padma Shree awardee Suman Sahai

What do you think of environmentalist Mark Lynas’ sudden change of heart – from being an anti-GM crusader to a pro-GM crusader?
It is a renewed propaganda push to create goodwill around GM crop. This is a product that very large corporations are trying to sell. India is a very particular target because of large scale rejections (of GM crop) in Europe, many parts of Africa and Latin America. For these corporations, there are only two big potential markets – India and China. Everybody knows it is impossible to influence Chinese policy because they are very determined about what they want and what not. India is perceived as a soft target with a big market and therefore a huge amount of propaganda is directed towards India and Indian policy making.

What is your stand on promoting GM crops in India?
As a scientist, geneticist, this is my subject. It is the scientists who are asking for regulation and precaution right from the beginning. The (GM) industry is trying to cut corners on regulation because adequate bio-safety testing costs money. It is my firm belief that had this technology been purely in public sector it would still be in the laboratory. It would only come to market after it was sufficiently and properly tested.

If you want to engage in science and technology that has a downside – any potential risk of the GM product having an allergenic component – but potential for benefits, then you have to be super careful to evaluate safety.

Also read: “In science, we go by evidence”

Comments

 

Other News

Flying start for UDAN, but there could be rough weather ahead

PM Narendra Modi’s yet another niftily acronymed scheme, UDAN – short for Ude ‘Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’ and otherwise called ‘Regional Connectivity Scheme’ in officialese – got off to a flying start on Thursday. Modi formally launched a flight from Shimla to Delhi, and

It’s very rare to get the right budget to do what producers want: Thota Tharrani

He accompanied his father to film studios in Chennai and helped him in designing sets, but Thota Tharrani wanted to be an artist. So he studied mural painting and print-making, but as luck would have it, he finally returned to tinsel town. And the world soon took note. In Mani Ratnam’s pa

Is the AAP headed for a split?

Is the AAP headed for a split?

Bangladesh to get high-speed diesel from Numaligarh refinery

A sale-purchase agreement was signed between Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for supply of high speed diesel (HSD) through the proposed 131 km Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline.    The agree

Ajay Maken fails to charm Delhi

The dismal performance of the Congress in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi elections forced party chief Ajay Maken to announce his resignation, ending an energetic effort to revive the party in the national capital.   Ajay Maken, now 53, had taken over as the chief

AAP in hot water following MCD poll debacle

The BJP’s clean sweep is not just a referendum on the Arvind Kejriwal government, but also could mark the beginning of the end of one of India’s youngest political parties, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive win in the UP assembly elections, th



Video

फिर शुरू होगी अयोध्या में रामलीला

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter