CPI-M leader stuns party over GM crops

Sunday, January 2, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Deviating from his party’s stand, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai staunchly supported GM crops at an agriculture seminar here.

Pillai, who inaugurated the three-day seminar “Agriculture in the era of Globalization”, declared that opposition to GM seeds was superstitious.

He said that the use of GM seeds would help improve farm productivity, and help tackle malnutrition. He, however, added that they should be used only after taking all precautions.

Opposition leader and former Congress chief minister Oommen Chandy reacted sharply to Pillai’s stand.

“In the 70s, they opposed the tractor, then they opposed the computer,” said Chandy, a vocal critic of the CPI-M.

Kerala Agriculture Minister Mulakara Ratnakaran, who is from the Communist Party of India, said he could not agree with Pillai on GM food as there was no evidence that the farm sector would benefit.

He said he hoped Pillai’s view was not the stand of the party.

State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, a key organiser of the seminar, said the CPI-M was neither blindly opposed to Bt products nor does it support them.

We opposed Bt brinjal simply because it has not been proved that there will be no side-effects. We opposed Bt cotton because it was Monsanto (India Ltd) which was making it, Isaac said.

–Indo Asian News Service

Filed under: Economy

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