Crop Biotech Update

India Should Not Succumb to Unscientific Prejudices Againts GM Crops: Prime Minister

February 5, 2014

India's Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh, in his inaugural address at the 101st Indian Science Congress 2014 held in Jammu on 3 February 2014, cautioned against what he called "unscientific prejudices" against GM crops, stressing the importance of biotechnology and other new technologies for agricultural development. The Prime Minister stated that "Use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yields. While safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt crops. Our government remains committed to promoting the use of these new technologies for agricultural development."

The Prime Minister called upon the scientific community to increase communication and engagement with society at large in explaining socially productive applications of technology alternatives and for improving the productivity of small and medium enterprises. In order to ensure food security and to improve land and water productivity he said, "We have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution. This will test the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists." He added that "Climate-resilient agriculture and modern biotechnological tools hold great promise." He emphasized that the Government must also focus on creating new opportunities for our bright and socially conscious scientists. The five-day long National Science Congress will conclude on 7 February 2014 and will focus on theme ‘Innovations in Science and Technology for Inclusive Development'.

View a copy of Prime Minister Speech at http://www.pmindia.nic.in/speech-details.php?nodeid=1427.