The Times of India just reported that Indian scientists working for public research institutes and universities have developed over 200 varieties of GM crops. The Indian scientists have developed GM varieties of cotton, brinjal, castor, groundnut, mustard, papaya, potato, rice, rubber, sugarcane, wheat and tomato.
Right now, in India, only Monsanto’s Bt cotton is allowed to be planted though… EVEN FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES.
So those varieties, including a salt resistant rice and a longer shelf life tomato, can’t even have research done thanks to anti-GM groups in India.
Datta, founder director of the National Institute of Plant Genome Research, rued that the hard work of Indian scientists has not paid any dividends to the country’s farmers as their findings could not move beyond the field assessment stage. “You won’t know the exact impact of a particular variety of GM crop unless you are allowed scientific trials,” he said.
I just had a comment on a previous post about how can we “know” that the research is not being supported by Monsanto.
Look, I need to explain this. I’m not a huge fan of Monsanto’s BUSINESS practices. But, honestly, are those practices any different than Apple and Samsung (remember the lawsuit about one phone looking too much like the other) or any government supported monopoly (like utilities) or any large bank that’s too big to fail (or even be sued)?
Business is business. But science is not business.
The science of GMOs are well established (there’s a link in the sidebar to my GMO posts). But we cannot effectively evaluate them if they are not allowed to even be grown for trial purposes. Can we at least find out if the genes work before you people yell and scream about them?
If you don’t like Monsanto’s practices, then the Indian scientists have an answer.
“The solution to this problem is to encourage competition among the GM seed companies and even more importantly to have mission-mode programmes for the development of genetically modified seeds in the public sector”, said N K Singh, professor at National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology of the IARI, while referring to the list of varieties developed by Indian scientists. He said, “The Seed Act and the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Act should be used effectively to ensure competition and control of seed prices in addition to the bio-safety”.