India should not succumb to prejudices against Bt crops: PM

Batting for Bt crops, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against genetically modified crops.

"While safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt crops", he said in his address at the 101st Indian Science Congress here.

Opinion has been sharply divided in India on introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops. There have been protests against such crops with several parties opposed to it.

"Our government remains committed to promoting the use of these new technologies for agricultural development," Singh said, adding that the "use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yield".

The Prime Minister called upon the scientific community to increase communication and engagement with society in explaining socially productive applications of technology alternatives and for improving the productivity of small and medium enterprises.

In order to ensure food security and to improve land and water productivity, "we have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution," he said.

"This will test the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists. Climate-resilient agriculture and modern bio-technological tools hold great promise. Use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yields," he said.

The Science Congress will conclude on February 7 and will focus on the theme of 'Innovations in Science and Technology for Inclusive Development'.

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