“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
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

BHEL begins execution of 4,000 MW Yadadri thermal power project

 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commenced the execution of the 4,000 MW Yadadri supercritical thermal power project. The order of the project was placed by Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGENCO).    The thermal power project is locat

Jaipur airport rated as best airport in survey

 The Jaipur airport has been rated as the best airport in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ (airports council international-airport service quality) survey at a function held in Mauritius. Srinagar airport was adjudged as the second best airport in the same category. This is

Teacher absenteeism common: Report

UNESCO’s latest report on education has put the spotlight on a host of issues, including teachers’ absenteeism. Global Education Monitering Report 2017 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0025/002593/259338e.pdf said that In India, estimates differed among studies on absenteeism of

Would former IB director Dineshwar Sharma be able to initiate fruitful talks in J&K?

Would former IB director Dineshwar Sharma be able to initiate fruitful talks in J&K?

Would rejigging GST help small businesses?

Would rejigging GST help small businesses?

Sowing wheat earlier can help increase yields in India: US researcher

Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher.   Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie



Video

Grand Diwali celebrations in Ayodhaya on eve of diwali

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter