Chennai, August 24, 2016: Media reports indicate that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is preparing guidelines for the socio-economic assessment of GM Crops. In this connection it will be useful to keep in view the following.
1. The procedures for field testing and for commercial release will have to be different since field testing is essential to assess the risks and benefits
2. I had proposed in a report of the Task Force on Applications of Agricultural Biotechnology set up by the Ministry of Agriculture under my chairmanship in 2004 the following criteria for assessing GMOs:
“the bottom line for any biotechnology regulatory policy should be the safety of the environment, the well being of farming families, the ecological and economic sustainability of farming systems, the health and nutrition security of consumers, safeguarding of home and external trade, and the biosecurity of our nation.”
The above guidelines will ensure that the GM technology is adopted for public good and for agriculture progress.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.