Withdrawal of restrictions on GE crops violates bio-safety protocol

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Kendrapara, Feb 28 (UNI) The withdrawal of regulatory mechanism on import of genetic engineering crops by the Union government recently violated the bio-safety protocols, said an Agricultural scientist.

In a paper presented in a seminar on Genetically Modified crops organised by the Breakthrough Appropriate Technology Transfer Network (BAT NET), a leading NGO of Orissa, here Genetic Engineering expert Karsten Wolff said the withdrawal of regulatory mechanism would adversely affect the health of farmers, farm workers, consumers and cattle.

The scientist said the GE crops would also affect the environment, pest ecology, non-targetted beneficial organisms, soil microbial activity, Pest&weeds resistance.

But the government was trying to promote the GE crops saying it would solve hunger and malnourishment problem, he said.

Mr Wolff said the withdrawal of regulatory system over the import of GE foods into the country would endanger the food safety, and appealed to the civil society create a public debate on the issue and offer appropriate alternatives.

He said the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers the country was linked to farming and the associated technologies deployed.

Mr Wolff said Genetic Modified(GM) hybrid seeds could not be stored for the next sowing season forcing the farmers to totally depend on seed companies for seed. This would lead to corporate control over the food chain, he cautioned.

UNI XC-BD KK AM PM1036

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