Biotechnology has far-reaching potential in increasing global food production in a sustainable manner to fight world’s hunger, plant biologist Dr C S Prakash said.
Speaking at an interactive session on ‘Biotechnology for Enhancing Food Security in India’ here on Saturday, Dr Prakash pointed out that opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops from certain groups was without any scientific basis.
“Judicious use of science and technology is critical. We need another green revolution and we need it in half the time. People think GM is unsafe, but it is not,” Prakash said.
Dr Prakash is a professor of Plant Molecular Genetics at Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA, which has partnered with Monsanto company to encourage collaborative research project.
Addressing biotechnology students at Government Science college, Prakash said as long as the companies supporting GM crops play within rules, they should be encouraged. “There are purveyors of technology, but science has to be differentiated from corporates. If the governments do not support something, private parties would show interest and expect profit. Same is the case with GM,” Prakash observed. Dr Prakash, who also runs a pro-GM website AgBioWorld, believed that GM seeds can resist pests and disease responsible for crop damage without affecting the soil fertility.
The high-level committee appointed by the Supreme Court has recommended stopping of all open field trials on GM crops for 10 years and stressed for reassessment of the biosafety data.