Stating that there was little scientific basis to the opposition to GM crops, Professor K Vijay Raghavan, secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said that the current set of genetically modified (GM) crops was safe.
“Several qualitative tests have been carried out and there has been no instance of any animal or human’s health being affected,” he told media persons. He was in the city to take part in the foundation day celebration of National Centre for Cell Science and to observe 30 years of DBT on Thursday.
He said that a huge effort was underway to evolve cost effective technologies to address problems in the rural areas. “The DBT is supporting talent and innovative minds with a wide range of grants,” he added.
The DBT has introduced several programmes to boost academia-industry interface. “As part of our vaccination programmes, the indigenous rota virus vaccine has been introduced. It is extremely safe,” Raghavan said, adding that new vaccines stimulated the vaccine industry.
The DBT has also partnered with national and international agencies for the ‘Reinvent Toilet’ programme. The new scheme Atal innovation mission aims to encourage youngsters and is part of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. The scheme will take innovation to the market, Raghavan pointed out.