GM Endorsements

GM Technology Only Option for Some Rice Pests: IARI’s Head of Genetics

Ashok Kumar Singh

There is no option other than GM technology to deal with stem borers that chew panicles and turn them into what are called white ear heads, says Ashok Kumar Singh, Head of Genetics at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).  It is also the only remedy for sap-sucking tiny brown plant hoppers that infest the lower stems of rice plants and dry them up within a span of two or three days, Singh says. The toxic gene derived from the Bt soil bacterium that has been very effectively used against boll worms in cotton could end the predation of stem borers.
While the country has competent scientists trained in genetic modification in some of the best institutes abroad, ‘[o]ur younger generation is getting dissuaded, why we should do a science for which there is no future.’

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