Consumer rights activists demand inclusive policy on GM in India (7/10/2004)
"Policies must be participatory and democratic involving all sections of society, including farmers who would be the most affected in this case."
Consumer rights activists demand policy on GM crops
The Hindu, October 7 2004
New Delhi, Oct. 7 (PTI): Expressing concern over the lack of information on Genetically Modified crops and technology, consumer rights activists have demanded that the Government should come out with a policy on the issue.
"Anything new in the world is seen with apprehensions. The genetic modification technology is also being questioned in a similar fashion," Sothi Rachagan, Regional Director, Consumers International, an NGO working for consumers' rights, said.
Though genetic modification is a much-debated topic, very little written information is available on this, Suman Sahai, from Gene Campaign, said on Wednesday.
"Individuals and consumer groups are concerned over the health and safety risks associated with the GM food," Rachagan said. Such issues could be addressed by adequately labelling, providing relevant information, on the food products, he said.
However, labelling was not the only issue, environmental risks like damage to the ecosystem, emergence of superweeds and crop control were other concerns that needed attention, he said.
Stressing the need for a policy on genetic modification in India, Sahai said, "We want a change in the way policies are made. Policies must be participatory and democratic involving all sections of society, including farmers who would be the most affected in this case."