Demon seeds

Published: Thursday 15 October 1998

A DEBATE similar to the one raised during the time when scientists were busy harnessing atomic power is taking place in the field of agriculture. The issue this time is genetically modified crops. Those in favour are claiming that production will go up many folds while those opposing it believe that if genetically modified crops are cultivated, they will lead to a major disaster in agroeconomics, health and ecology. Among those resisting the move are non-government organisations the world over, who say that the move is being mainly pushed by the Americans for their own commercial interests.

Some of these opponents include Third World countries that are concerned about the social and economic costs of the technology which is being developed by Western multinationals. The Third World farmers will have to pay a higher price and they will also be bound to buy the seeds for the crop again and again from the same company. Though this issue does not concern the European countries, they are concerned about the ecological costs attached to the technology.

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