GM crops can help India increase food production: US expert

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Kolkata, Sep 7: Amidst a debate in India over allowing GM crops, an American expert has said shifting to it can help India increase food production to fight hunger and global warming.

"Average yields will go down and GM crops is going to be one of the answers in fighting issues of climate change and population growth," Dr Julian Adams, professor in the departments of molecular cellular and developmental biology at the University of Michigan, said.


He said to ensure food security and fight hunger, the world has to increase food production by about 60 per cent by 2050.

Taking advantage of genetically engineered technology, scientists can change genes in the seed to make it more tolerant to floods, drought and heat.

Asked about its impact on biodiversity, Adams said the conversion from traditional farming to GM crop farming has "no affect" on biodiversity.

According to an estimate, he said if there hadn't been GM crops the world would have needed around 21 million hectares of arable land.

Carrie McMahon, Consumer Safety Officer of United States Food and Drug Administration, said over the last 25 years, 150 varieties of GM crops had been evaluated and were released in the market only after they were found to be safe for both humans and animals.

She said US Food and Drug Administration is working on sharing best practices in evaluation of GM food to scientists of other countries.


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