A green NGO on Friday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that issues like genetically modified food or nuclear energy cannot be settled by faith, emotion or fear but by structured debate.
"The Prime Minister's statement comes in as an attempt to discredit the anti-GM and anti-nuclear movement which for long has been asking for a national debate," Greenpeace India said about the PM's speech on Thursday at the 100th Science Congress in Kolkata.
Noting that Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) had challenged government to organise a national debate on nuclear power, Greenpeace India campaigner Karuna Raina said the Prime Minister should facilitate such debate on its relevance in the country.
"Considering that such debates have been requested time and again by the civil society, both pre and post Fukushima, the Prime Minister should facilitate such debate and hold consultations around the country on relevance and role of this dangerous, risky and expensive energy option," he said.
Greenpeace also criticised the government's move to pass the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill.
It said that through the bill, government wants to set up "a centralised, non-transparent, undemocratic and unscientific regulatory system" for lowering the bar for GM crop approvals.
"It's a pity that the government is not ready to hold a pre-legislation public consultation and debate on BRAI like in the case of Bt Brinjal," Sustainable Agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace India, Rajesh Krishnan said.
The Prime Minister had said, "Complex issues, be they genetically modified food or nuclear energy or exploration of outer space, cannot be settled by faith, emotion and fear but by structured debate, analysis and enlightenment".