Staff Reporter

Universities should not promote them, feel experts

“Genetically engineered crops did not bear seeds”

“GE foods were banned in many Western countries”

MADURAI: Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Union Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation must take cognisance of the impact of genetically modified (GM) food. The Central Government must immediately stop all release of GM crops for open field trials and commercial use.

The Union Ministry of Health should take the requisite steps to stop the release of genetically modified organisms into the nation’s food chain, including effective ban on it and mandatory labelling of imported processed food items.

Resolutions to this effect were adopted at a seminar on ‘Genetically modified food and seed – an achievement or a threat’ organised here recently by Indian Medical Association and South Against Genetic Engineering (SAGE).

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Speaking to journalists after the seminar, G. Nammalvar of SAGE said that genetically engineered (GE) crops did not bear seeds, forcing farmers to rely on the bio-technology companies for obtaining seeds every time.

That these companies were using universities to promote GM crops was a troubling factor. The complete effects of consuming GE food was yet to be comprehended, he said.

C.N. Deivanayagam, member, key advisory group of experts to Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said that trails of GE food conducted abroad on various animals found that their reproductive capacity declined. The vital organs of humans consuming these animals were also affected.

In many Western nations, including the European Union, Korea and Japan, GM crops and GE foods were banned, he said. Universities should not be allowed to promote them, he said.

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