Kolkata Scientists oppose proposed field trial of GM rice at RRS, Chinsurah

January 4, 2011

Jan 4, 2011

A group of eminent scientists including Molecular Biologists, Botanists, Plant Biologists, Agricultural Scientists have expressed concern about the proposed field trial of GM rice at Chinsurah, West Bengal. At the Rice Research Station at Chinsurah (RRS-C), a GM rice trial has been sanctioned by the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee), Govt. of India. RRS-C is linked with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) which is a Manila based organization that introduced and controlled the Green Revolution.

Professor Tushar Chakrabarty of Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) who is also an internationally acclaimed molecular biologists see this as part of the program of ‘corporate led Second Green Revolution’. This according to Chakrabarti would ‘displace the traditional seeds and make the country fully dependent on the foreign corporate for food”.

Professor Satya Kinkar Pal maintains that “no where in the world the GM crop resulted in higher yield and it could not even protect thecrops from the pest attacks as Monsanto admits that Bt cotton has failed to control Boll warm”. According to Dr Safikul Alam, an agricultural scientist associated with the West Bengal Govt. maintains that ‘it is only a
first step to commercialization of GM crops’. Professor Rabin Majumdar (CU), Professor Soumitra Banerjee of Indian Institute of Science and Education (IISER) have also expressed similar apprehensions. The members of TASAM and FAMA are going to give a deputation to the Chinsurah Rice Research Station where the field trial of GM rice has been approved on 14th January 2011.

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