New Delhi: Advocating the use of Genetically Modified seeds, the Government has said the commercial use of the seeds did not pose any threat to ecology and was beneficial for farmers, though green activists feel otherwise.
The Government's stance was reflected in an affidavit filed before the apex court in response to a PIL filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, requesting a blanket ban on the use of GM seeds as its extensive use would pose a serious threat to ecology and human lives.
While seeking to lift the stay of apex court's order restraining any further field trials for approvals, the Centre said research activities on GM crops had come to a standstill and therefore there was an urgent need for lifting the said order.
Citing the Appellate Authority's order it said, "The approval for commercialisation of Bt cotton was legal and valid and was based on adequate assessment of likely hazards and consequence to the safety and health of the environment."
Criticising the petitioner, who claimed to have filed the petition in public interest, it said that introduction of biotechnology in India after rigorous testing was beneficial for the farmers and the general public. Any action which hinders such introduction of new technology cannot be termed to be "in public interest."
In the backdrop of huge use of insecticides and pesticides in the conventional farming of brinjal, the affidavit said, "The introduction and commercialisation of GMOs would substantially reduce the usage of harmful chemical pesticides and consequently there would be reduced damage to the environment and ecology."