Why India got it so wrong on GMOs?

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Genetically-modified crops are controversial especially in developing countries like India.  Opposition parties almost killed Environmental Minister Jayram Ramesh verbally back in 2010 when he tried to introduce BT Brinjal in India. Things have changed- Genetically Modified Crops have been banned and vilified, but the science is clear now. They are perfectly safe and much needed for developing country like India and especially backward  state like Telangana.

WSJ says-It was claimed that GMOs were especially bad for the developing world, tying farmers to expensive new seeds that would not reproduce, thus destroying traditional agriculture. Some campaigners dubbed GMOs “suicide seeds,” pointing to cases of farmers in India who, trapped in debt, took their own lives. Perhaps most crucially, many opponents claimed that genetically modified foods were a threat to human health, causing a higher incidence of everything from cancer and autism to diabetes and obesity. India allow their farmers to grow genetically modified cotton but little else.

There is no truth to the charge that GMO crops have driven Indian farmers to suicide. The Bt cotton introduced to India in 2002 has turned out to be a boon. It now accounts for over 90% of Indian cotton acreage, with 800 different competing Bt cotton varieties on the domestic market. Farmer suicide in India, while undoubtedly tragic in each individual case, occurs at a rate similar to that of such countries as Scotland or France, which don’t use GMOs. The German researcher Matin Qaim estimates that the reduced use of insecticides by Indian farmers, thanks to GMO cotton, may have avoided as many as 2.4 million cases of poisoning a year.

American Association for the Advancement of Science declared, “The science is quite clear: Crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.

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