Chennai: In India, GM cotton or commonly known as Bt cotton (because of Bt gene that controls a certain group of insects) has been successfully cultivated for the last 18 years and today more than 95 per cent cotton growing area in India is under Bt, said Dr Shivendra Bajaj, executive director, Alliance for Agri Innovation (AAI).
In a statement, he said, “whenever a new technology is introduced, there are always some who will challenge its usefulness. It may be either a fear of unknown or just being plain scepticism, but we always see the debate on both sides. This debate is good as long it is healthy and allows everyone to put forward their viewpoints and let the data and science to speak for itself.”
He added: “The debate about genetically modified crops is no exception. However, the fact is, GM technology is not new anymore. This year is the 25th anniversary of the commercialisation of GM crops. During these 25 years of cultivation, more than a trillion meals have been served which had one or more ingredients derived from GM crops and there is not a single substantiated claim of any ill effect on health which could be attributed to GM crops.”