HYDERABAD: Stressing the need for agri-biotechnology in Telangana, the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) has urged the state government to take genetically modified (GM) crops seriously and said these modified variants have the ability to mitigate climate change and reduce ground water discharge, and would be very useful in drought conditions.
Speaking to mediapersons at an awareness session on need for agri-biotechnology in the state here on Wednesday, Dr P Ananda Kumar, principal scientist, ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, said, “Now, we have reached a position where we need to keep thinking about the environment at every step we take, even when it comes to agriculture. We can’t afford to use up all the water resources or keep polluting land with the excess use of chemicals and fertilizers. GM and Bt crops help us get a good yield with limited resources. Telangana should start concentrating more on GM crops and aim at becoming GM seed bowl of the country.”
The ABLE members also emphasised the need to allow pending field trials of GM crops with regard to technology interventions in agriculture in the state.
“Whenever some new innovations take place, we need to consider benefits to risk ratio and use the product if the benefits are more. GM foods are consumed across the world and to date, there is no documented proof that any approved, commercially-grown GM crop has caused allergic reactions,” Dr B Sesikeran, former director of National Institute of Nutrition, said.
“Whether the GM and Bt crops are good or bad or whether there are any side-effects will be known only if trials continue. The government should allow the pending trials so that the exact effects can be known,” he added.