The Janata Dal (United) has taken exception to Union Minister for Environment and Forests M. Veerappa Moily giving permission for field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops in a “hurry”.

JD(U) State general secretary G.K.C. Reddy, accompanied by freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, told presspersons here on Saturday that Mr. Moily had reversed the earlier policies by giving permission for field trials of GM crops, which his predecessor Jayanthi Natarajan had rejected.

They said this was against the interests of farmers of the country.

‘Not consulted’
These trials were being pushed through when elections were just around the corner, without consulting experts and farmers, said Mr. Reddy, arguing that this would result in farmers becoming “slaves” to foreign companies for seeds.

Mr. Doreswamy regretted that the focus of agriculture in the country was being dictated by international agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Agricultural universities, which ought to work for the welfare of the poorest farmers of this country, too were more attuned to multinational companies, he said.

They demanded that the permission for trials be withheld and the next government be allowed to take a decision after wider consultations.

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