This refers to the article, “Regulating genetic modification” (Feb. 25). Genetic modification is both boon and bane. As suggested, a regulatory body may help play an important role, but in India, can it regulate unethical trade and the nexus between companies and political parties?

Not much attention has been paid to the voluminous farmers’ welfare reports of 2007. There doesn’t seem to be any policy geared towards crop sustainability and animal production. When bio-tech companies and the “owners” of gene technologies get royalties, why not farmers and public agricultural institutes too? After all, it is their crop varieties that are used as vehicles for these technologies. And why are gene marker technologies that are put forth by public-funded research institutes ignored?

N. Venugopal Rao,

Guntur

I disagree with the statement that Indian farmers might have reaped the benefits of Bt cotton research on which an expenditure of Rs.100 crore was incurred. Bt cotton is from Monsanto, and most “Indian research” plays a surrogate role. What was Rs.100 crore spent on? Bt cotton is said to destroy essential soil microbial activity. This year there has been a complete failure of Bt cotton. And how can GMO be declared safe after just 90 days of field trials?

D.S.K. Rao,

Secunderabad

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Regulating genetic modificationFebruary 25, 2014

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