On GM crops: a conversation with Pushpa M Bhargava, eminent biotechnologist, Padma Shree awardee and founder of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
Prasanna Mohanty | January 31, 2013
Dr Bhargava, what do you think of environmentalist Mark Lynas’ sudden change of heart – from being an anti-GM crusader to a pro-GM crusader? [Read more here]
I think it doesn’t change the situation one bit. We have no credentials of him and one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
In science, we go by evidence. Nothing has been added to the evidence that we have for or against the GM crop. Opinion is completely irrelevant in science if it is not based on evidence, existing or new. In science, if we ever change our opinion we always give reasons. Here, none is given.
To the community of scientists, he (Lynas) is a completely unknown entity and no different from somebody one might pick up on the street randomly.
How do we know that he is not purchased? How do we know the person exists and not merely a story created by the multinational seed companies making GMOs? The very fact that this story has been released without scientific evidence makes the case against GM crops stronger.
What is your stand on promoting GM crops in India?
Firstly, we must make a socio-economic assessment whether there is a problem at all. We had a problem in case of cotton but not for brinjal at all.
Secondly, we must see if alternatives are available to the GM technology. In case of cotton, there was a problem but there were alternatives – integrated pest management, bio-pesticides and organic agriculture. So we didn’t need it.
Third, if it turns out that we need GM crop we must go through a very strict safety assessment. This has not been done for any GM crop (in India). Nearly 30 tests need to be conducted. Out of these, about six tests have been done and that to, done badly. So for all practical purposes, no safety assessment has been done.
Therefore, a moratorium on GM crop is justified.
Approximately one-eighth of Mumbai’s existing landmass is proposed to be added for development works, especially for housing of low income groups. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis gave green signal to the 2034 development plan that will make more land available by adding over 3,650 he
Harshdeep Kaur is a playback singer better known for her Sufi renditions. She sings Hindi as well as Punjabi. She sang ‘Ik Onkar’ in Rang De Basanti apart from several other soulful songs. Her track ‘R.I.P.’ composed by AR Rahman was part of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s film
Out of all MPs and MLAs in office, 58 have declared cases related to hate speech. This includes union minister for drinking water and sanitation Uma Bharti along with 14 other Lok Sabha MPs. The list also includes 8 state ministers. A party wise analysis reveals that BJP has the highest numb
After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?
There is an uncanny similarity in the pathological opposition to prime minister Narendra Modi by two members of the right wing, Pravin Togadia and Yashwant Sinha. They come from a diverse social and political background; yet they share a common strand that shows an unmitigated hatred towards
Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles o