As many as 100 developing countries lack biosafety norms to test the risks posed by genetically modified (GM) crops to human health, environment and biodiversity, says the U.S.-based think-tank IFPRI.

“... As many as 100 developing countries lack the technical and management capacity needed to review tests and monitor compliance (of GM crops),” International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said in a report.

Though a growing number of countries have begun investing in developing ‘national biosafety frameworks for GM crops, but progress is still slow, it said.

Interestingly, “benefits, costs and implications of the potential introduction of the technology have received only cursory attention from most regulatory systems,” it noted.

Stating that biosafety needs to be a process trusted by society, the report suggested developing countries to adopt flexible and efficient biosafety regulatory norms to benefit not only from the GM crops currently in the pipeline, but also from unforeseen farm technologies that will emerge in future.

The report comes at a time when the introduction of GM crops, specially Bt Brinjal, is facing opposition from state governments, health activists among others across the country.

The Centre also on Tuesday refused to give a go-ahead to commercial cultivation of Bt Brinjal, a genetically-modified version of the vegetable that is said to be more resistant to pests.