India must expedite GM crop approvals: experts
India is missing out on development and productivity by prolonging the approval process for genetically modified (GM) corn and other seeds, opine farm specialists at GM seeds major Monsanto Company.
Michael K Doane, vice-president, Sustainable Agriculture Policy for Monsanto at St Louis (Missouri), said they were having a productive dialogue in India and appreciated the Indian government's willingness to broadly endorse biotechnology as a solution and set up a regulatory framework. "But we are moving to a point where we need to think about what's the way to move forward with de-regulation of traits. There has always been a positive attitude, but it needs to be translated into willingness to approve products. We respect the process, but it has taken very long. It has not been terribly productive outside cotton. In cotton, we saw products getting approved and benefits have been tremendous for India. In other crops, we haven't seen a quick process to get these approvals," Doane told a group of visiting Indian journalists at Monsanto's headquarters at Creve Coeur.
Doane said they had products which had been successful in other parts of the world for many years now. "These are proven technologies in terms of controlling weeds, insects and helping with the productivity potential. We are still hopeful that we are going to see some of those approvals come through. But it has been slower than we would like. It has been slower on a crop such as corn than on one like cotton. We just hope we continue to have productive dialogues, move toward and ultimately get these products in the hands of farmers so that they can enjoy the benefits of what we have seen in other countries," he said.