Sunday, May 15, 2016

Why Block the Useful Science?

By Vinod Varshney
India’s policy-making is overwhelmed by those who have mastered the art of blocking benefits of science reaching to farmers. Sounds preposterous, but it is true, especially in the field of genetically modified crops, which hold the promise of revolutionising Indian agriculture. But these are not being allowed to move from lab to land on ideological grounds. The arguments in opposition are sometimes facetious, like these are meant to benefit only MNCs, who have monopoly over the technology and intend to bring vast Indian agriculture under their control for their own profit to the bewilderment of Indian farmers. Using scientific jargon, they also allege that it might lead to uncontrolled genetic pollution in other varieties and consumption of genetically modified foods might also be harmful to human health. They ignore that genetically modified crops are being grown in so many countries, developing and developed both, cutting down input cost, improving yield and quality of the food. While they raise spectre of damage to health, they pass over the fact that we import such foods and millions of Indians eat them in the country as well as abroad without any harm.