Playing it safe: Promoting sustainable biotech in India

Modern biotechnology promises remarkable advances in agriculture, medicine and industrial products. The genomes of many plants and animals are being mapped, and techniques are being developed to manipulate genetic material and fuse cells beyond normal breeding barriers. 

These advances have led to the appearance of the development of resilient and sometimes totally new projects referred to as Living Modified Organisms (LMOs), or commonly as Genetically Modified Organisms. Some of these may be beneficial to humans, but they need to be properly assessed for potential risks, monitored and tested over extended periods to ensure their safety.

Indian Farmers
Indian farmers inspect a crop. Source: S. Jayaraj

What do we mean by biosafety and why is it important?

Biosafety refers to the safe handling, transport and use of organisms – whether animals, plants or bacteria – that have been modified using modern biotechnology.

The Government of India has committed to developing and deploying agricultural biotechnology to meet the needs of rural communities and growing urban populations. But it wants to do this safely and in compliance with its international commitments.

LMOs are any living organism…

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