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Ravi Calls for Detailed Study on GM Crop Impact
The Hindu,
June 15 2008

Warns against its use without consensus

Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has called for a detailed study on the impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on farmers and consumers.
Inaugurating the 'National summit on GM crops,' organised by the Sastra Vedi, an arm of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, here on Saturday, Mr. Ravi referred to the opposition worldwide to GM crops and food to warn against its use in the country without a consensus. While issues related to productivity, food security and health were important, there were many other related issues that should be tackled before GM crops could be adopted in a large-scale.
He said India had already installed the necessary safeguards and regulations relating to GM crops, but the debate should continue. The seed policy should be discussed in the context of its pricing.

He feared that the price of seed would increase, forcing a hike in the cost of production and its impact on the consumers.
Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, who delivered the keynote address, said he had an open mind on adoption of GM crops. "The State government should not approach the issue with a closed mind. Besides, the time was not yet ripe to close the debate on this."
He said Kerala had missed the bus twice in relation to mechanisation of farms and induction of computers. "The main issue before us is how to utilise opportunities. We have to be capable enough to recognise the good and bad in a new technology."

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, who presided over the inaugural session, also emphasised on the need for debates on the pros and cons of adopting GM food.
KPCC general secretary E.M. Augusthy, who is also chief coordinator of the summit, welcomed the gathering.