ibnlive » India

Oct 30, 2006 at 10:50pm IST

Farmers set genetic crops on fire

Karnal: A rice field in Karnal is burning after farmers belonging to the Bharatiya Kishan Union set the crops on fire. A fire that has brought back genetically modified crops to the limelight.

Field tests for genetically modified rice have suffered a setback after the farmers burnt the crops as they come to know from a source that the crops are being tested.

"This is a conspiracy of the MNCs to badmouth our crops," said Gurmeet Singh of Bharatiya Kishan Union.

If all goes well, the Karnal farmers want the fire to spread everywhere – where the crops are being tested.

In fact, even the Supreme Court has said that there is a lot of health and environmental concerns associated with genetically modified food crops and no further permission should be given for open field trials.

But M S Swaminathan of National Commission on Farmers has another view. "Sooner we develop safe mechanism which can promote safe and responsible use of biotechnology the greater will be the opportunity for us to benefit," said Swaminathan.

Genetically modified rice being burnt is an expression of concern. Some believe that it's plain and simple misinformation that led to this, but one cannot deny the fact that more needs to be debated about the risks and benefits of genetically modified crops.