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Pro-GM Crops Groups Push for India Biotech Crops

26 August 2013

INDIA - Farmers in New Delhi have appealed to policy makers for the infusion of biotechnology to increase agricultural productivity.

The farmers will made their pitch merely days after thousands of anti-GM crops activists strongly appealed to the government not to allow even field trials of genetically engineered crops in India, reports the Times of India.

Dismissing the anti-GM crops debate as ones which is dominated by fear and prejudice, P Chengal Reddy, secretary general of the CIFA, said: "We have decided to make people aware of the importance of bio-technology in agriculture and expose the duplicity of both political leadership and NGOs who have been opposed to it without any evidence."

Reddy said the farmers' organizations would also try to convince the policy makers, arguing how the technology is needed not only to increase productivity but also make farming attractive to poor farmers who have to live in abject poverty in absence of any support from government or private agencies through investment in the agriculture sector.

Many anti-GM crops organizations, including Greenpeace, have a strong reservation against the use of genetically modified food. They have, over the years, put forward arguments and scientific findings, forcing the government to tread very cautiously in this area.

Rajesh Krishnan, co-convenor of the Coalition for GM Free India, said individual genes as well as the genetic engineering process are known to create a lot of adverse health and environmental impacts, as documented in scientific studies all over the world.

TheCropSite News Desk

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