Go slow on genetically modified crops: Expert

‘Kidney and liver problems have surfaced in rats fed with GM corn’

Visakhapatnam, Jan. 4 Genetically modified crops may have certain adverse impacts, as experiments in France have proved of late, and, therefore, the Indian Government will be well-advised to go slow in the matter, says Mr Krishna Dronamraju, Head of the Foundation for Genetic Research, Houston.

Mr Krishna, who hails from Pithapuram in East Godavari district, is here to participate in the Indian Science Congress. He studied B.Sc (biology) in the Maharajah College in Vizianagaram and subsequently obtained the post-graduate degree in plant genetics from Agra University. He received Ph.D from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, where he worked with the eminent scientist, Mr J.B.S Haldane.

He has been conducting research in bio-technology in the US since 1963. He was once nominated for Nobel Prize in bio-technology.

In an interview here, he said that recent experiments had shown that some of the GM were highly toxic. “Kidney and liver problems have surfaced in rats fed with GM corn. Therefore, it is better if the Indian Government goes slow on GM crops. It is better if GM crops are confined to small stretches of land and a lot of research is necessary to find out their toxicity. Bio-tech companies should invest more on fundamental research,” he said.

Higher yields should not be the sole criterion for preferring GM crops, he observed. He felt that the Indian companies should fund foundations, as in the US, for conducting research. “The Government alone cannot do it. The industry should also take the responsibility on its shoulders,” he opined.

Courtesy: The Hindu Businessline

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