Policymakers advise industry to be patient , seek cooperation
As per Dr Amita Prasad , Additional Secretary , Ministry of Environment and Forests , " People should have confidence on their government . Biosafety capability building project is currently underway . Lot much can be done and we are exactly looking at doing what best possible can be done within the framework .”
“ Currently 85 products are in pipeline . There are objections from the NGOs and 780 comments have been received on the GM Mustard . There is an ongoing SC case . Communication gap is huge . About 21 government institutes are involved . Lot of trust deficit ,” she said when asked by a member of audience on the status of the GM Mustard .
Dr S R Rao , Senior Adviser , Department of Biotechnology agreed to the sentiments that there are complications in the communication regarding biosafety regulations . Dr Rao elaborated , " There are lawsuits by the firms even involving the
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Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee ( GEAC ). Mechanism of communication on genetically modified crops requires recheck . The definition of who consist of public and who actually are the stakeholders need to be reviewed .”
The context of risk within agriculture biotechnology is not defined properly , believes Mr G Ramamohan , Director and Regulatory Policy and Scientist Affairs . " Public perception has been blinkered and driven by the beliefs and emotions which is not correct . Policymakers need to be storytellers ," he said .
Dr Suryakumar Srikrishnan , Acting CEO , C-CAMP , stated that no enough biomass is available in India . “ If we convert entire available biomass in India into biofuel yet it won ’ t fulfil the goals . Ocean agriculture is an option as terrestrial plants won ’ t match the requirements . Biostimulants for plants can help in 45 percent increase . The ICAR institutes are already using it ,” he added .
Voice for BT
The late evening session of the first day witnessed VOICE FOR BT , a public speaking contest to encourage undergraduate students from colleges to speak passionately on topics such as biofuels , nutrition and water conservation . The national contest was supported by Novozymes , a world leader in biological solutions . Mr G S Krishnan while anchoring the show called the contest a platform to promote right talent and boost the morale of student community .
While the winner was Mr Adarsh Raj , the first runner up was Ms Sraddha Satpathy . The cash prize
BioVoiceNews | December 2016 - January 2017