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"GM crops cannot be the answer" - World Scientists

Posted: September 24, 2012 |   Comments

World renowned scientists, addressing a media briefing here, asserted that India's lack of food and nutrition security is not just a technological problem. However, the solution will require both social and technological changes, they said. The scientists recommended a holistic paradigm emphasizing ecological farming, supported by conventional breeding to make optimum use of local knowledge and natural resources.

"How we grow our crops, what kind of crops will be grown, where and by whom, are in fact the critical questions", said Prof Hans Herren, Co-Chair of IAASTD who was awarded the World Food Prize in 1995. "India must invest in rural infrastructure and institutions".

Agriculture of the future must be regenerative and sustainable. The scientists found transgenic approaches incompatible with sustainable agriculture and livelihoods. "What we really need is a shift in paradigm, where a holistic approach drives our interventions in agriculture without reductionist solutions hogging the centre-stage and taking away precious resources", Prof Herren said.

"The path of adopting widespread use of high-tech GMO technology in the USA has been accompanied by greater consolidation of resources and power for few seed companies, higher seed prices, greater risk for farmers and less choice in varieties with hardly any increase in productivity", said Dr Walter Goldstein of the Mandaamin Institute.

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