Enhancing Societal Acceptance of GM Crops in India


Published on

Fate of agricultural biotechnology hinges on how it is perceived by the policy makers and the public

We can help provide information so the stakeholders can make informed choices and pave way for enabling policies

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • 08/17/12
  • Enhancing Societal Acceptance of GM Crops in India

    1. 1. Enhancing Societal Acceptance of GM Crops in India C. S. Prakash Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA prakash@mytu.tuskegee.edu www.agbioworld.org
    2. 2. Life Expectancy Source: Wikipedia
    3. 3. Global Hunger Map
    4. 4. Low Productivity of Agriculture in the Developing World •Poor soils •Unfavorable environment •Little or no chemical input •Small Holdings •Drought •Market Access •Disease, Pests, Weeds •Storage and Transportation
    5. 5. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)To feed a world of 9 billion people in 2050, withoutallowing for additional imports of food:Africa has to increase its foodproduction by 300 percentLatin America by 80 percent; and Asia by 70percent. Even North America must increase foodproduction by 30 percent •Without an Increase in Farm Productivity, Additional 1.6 Billion Hectares of Arable Land will be Needed by 2050!
    6. 6. Innovation in Agriculture  U.S. Food Production : 252 million tons/year in 1960 to current 700 m. tons/year with 25 million fewer acres  North American Corn Yields up from 26 bushels/acre (1928) to 180 today  One North American farmer in 1940 fed 22 people, feeds 150 today.  1% of North Americans are Farmers.  Average 11% of Income on Food
    7. 7. Green Revolution… Revolution Lifted Billion Plus Out of Poverty Undernourished > from 38% to 19% in past 20 years Food Consumption per capita has increased everywhere except in Africa - 18% Globally and 28% in LDCs India: Food production from 50 to 225 mil tons in the past 5 decades. Wheat : from 6 to 85 million tons per year! Less Starvation and Famine Increased Food Self Sufficiency
    8. 8. Plant Breeding - Genetic Modification byFarmers and Conventional Breeding(photos: Dr. Wayne Parrott, Univ of Georgia)
    9. 9. Crop Evolution and Human Civilization• Hum ans have alwa ys guid ed the evol utio n of crop s• A
    10. 10. Many crops never existed in natureEinkorn x wild Emmer x goat grass Bread wheat wheat www.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/pr/garten/schau/Triticumaestivum/wheat.html
    11. 11. Improving Our Crop Plants • Developing Modern Varieties of Crops – Hybridization • Crosses with Wild Relatives • Hybrids – Mutation • Irradiation • Chemicals – Cell Culture • Embryo Rescue • Somaclonal variation
    12. 12. Modern Genetic ModificationInserting one or few genes to achieve desired traits.Transfer of Genes into Crop Plants  Relatively Precise and Predictable  Changes are Subtle  Allows Flexibility  Expeditious
    13. 13. Environmental and Economic Impact Pesticide Pesticide Global Global Carbon Emissions Carbon Emissions Reduction Reduction Farm Income Farm Income 393 million kg 2009 = cut of $64.7 17.7 billion kg billion reduction in pesticides & co2 release; increase 17.1% cut in equiv to taking associated environmental 7.8 million cars impact off the roadAfter 14 years of commercialization, biotech crops haveyielded a net increase in farm income while significantly ©PG Economics Ltd 2011
    14. 14. How Can Biotechnology Add Value to Global Agriculture? Environmental Impact - Decreased use of pesticides Reduce losses from pests and diseases Improve nutrient efficiency Improve productivity
    15. 15. Cotton - China, South Africa, India, Mexico, Burkina Faso Losses due to Bollworm $1.5 billion in India and China Cotton - 50% of the total pesticides India • Bt Cotton - yield increases up to 40%. • ~90% of Indian cotton farmers grow Bt • Savings up to $182 per hectare • More than 600 varieties • Spraying reduced from 12 to 1 • Both private and public sector
    16. 16. ‘GM’ Eggplant in India – Not Approved!
    17. 17. Bt CornBtConvencional (Low Mycotoxin)
    18. 18. Corn EarwormPhotos: Zamorano, Honduras by María Mercedes Roca; NPR
    19. 19. Better fertilizer useLow N Average N High N0 kg/ha 90 kg/ha 200 kg/ha
    20. 20. Herbicide Tolerance Simplifies non directed applicationsINBIO-Paraguay
    21. 21. Benefits of Biotechnology….. Post Harvest Quality - prolong shelf life of fruits, vegetables and flowers Extend crop area and season Stress tolerance - drought, acidity, salinity, heat, flooding
    22. 22. Source: www.arborgen.us
    23. 23. Golden Rice Milled rice has no beta-carotene Vitamin A deficiency - 200 million children and woman About 500,000 children go blind (60 every hour!) 2 million children die each year Golden Rice may provide one of the many solutions
    24. 24. Enhancing Food and Agriculture More Nutritious Food Healthy Produce. Low Toxins Pharmaceutical Proteins Clean Up Environment Biofuel - Ethanol, biodiesel Industrial Products Value-Added Products
    25. 25. Sweetpotato Fourth largest crop in the developing world Excellent source of calories, vitamins and minerals Grown by resource-poor farmers Very hardy Resistance to Virus and Weevil Enhancement of Nutritional Protein
    26. 26. Cowpea
    27. 27. Cassava Eaten by 500 million Africans Very productive, drought-tolerant Rich in Calories. Cyanogenic glucosides. African Cassava Mosaic Virus devastating the crop ILTAB - Danforth Ctr (Beachy, Fauquet)
    28. 28. Healthy Cassava Virus-infected Cassava
    29. 29. Black Sigatoka Disease ofBanana
    30. 30. Banana
    31. 31. Drought Tolerant CornPhoto: Monsanto Co.
    32. 32. W heat
    33. 33. Rice
    34. 34. Ve getables
    35. 35. Fr uits
    36. 36. Blue Rose!
    37. 37. Assessment of Food Safety Standard - “Reasonable certainty that no harm willresult from intended uses under theanticipated conditions of consumption” Food is not inherently safe Considered to be safe based on experience Not absolute but relative safety
    38. 38. Standards & Agencies 53
    39. 39. Substantial Equivalence - EvaluationPHENOTYPE COMPOSITION SAFETY ASSESSMENT•Morphology •Macronutrients •Toxicity•Agronomic •AA composition •Allergenic potential •disease •FA composition resistance •Nutritional •Anti-nutrients •drought •Toxic substances FEED resistance EQUIVALENCE •yields •Allergens •Performance•Organoleptic •Specific constituents
    40. 40. Environmental Issues What are the Ecological Effects of New Crops? Would Superweeds Emerge? Does Biotech Affect the Biodiversity? Genetic Pollution? Horizontal Transfer…..Will Bacteria or I get those genes? ….What about Monarch Butterflies?
    41. 41. Addressing Environmental Concerns Extensive Risk Assessment for the Past 15 years with 5,000 Field Studies; Careful Monitoring Evaluate Risk on a Case-by-Case Basis. Most Introduced Traits Not Unique to Biotechnology; Plant Breeding History - Introducing Novel Genes All the Time
    42. 42. What Can Scientists Do? Write Commentaries, Op-Eds Social Media – Facebook, Twitter Regulatory and Legislative process Public Forums Regional Networks Community Outreach Respond to Misinformation Letters to The Editor
    43. 43. Why communicate?• Fate of agricultural biotechnology hinges on how it is perceived by the policy makers and the public• We can help provide information so the stakeholders can make informed choices and pave way for enabling policies
    44. 44. Why Public Anxiety with Biotech Crops?• Societal Concern About Biotech is Understandable • Strong Assurance of Safety Needed • Unfamiliar with the Technology • Benefits Not Clear • Unaware of Safeguards • Negative Media Opinion • Opposition by Activist Groups • Mistrust of the Industry
    45. 45. A good understanding of issues foreffective communication• Understand agricultural context andhistory• Explain the benefits of technology• Understand the regulatory process• Be aware of concerns and criticisms• Address arising issues rapidly
    46. 46. Key facts• Genetic Modification practiced for centuries and biotechnology is the most recent method• Concerns about biotech crops are based on perceptions, not on fact• There are many sources but emphasis on scientific and regulatory authorities
    47. 47. Key facts• Understanding the rigorous biotech cropdevelopment process helps to easeconcerns (?)• Confidence in a science-basedregulatory process can help to improvebiotechnology acceptance• Positive economic and environmentalimpacts are driving biotech crop adoption• Pipeline products offer consumerbenefits
    48. 48. Acceptance of science and technology• The public is often skeptical, even fearful of scientific advancements – not because those advancements are inherently risky—but because people generally are unable to critically evaluate innovation on the basis of available information• There is a growing sector of society that mistrusts science, new technology, and those that profit by innovationovation
    49. 49. Questions on the safety of biotech crops…• Misunderstanding of genetic modification• Ignorance of risk assessment and regulation• Misleading information promoted by activist groups• Sensational stories in the media• Mistrust of multinational corporations• Lack of direct consumer benefits
    50. 50. Myths and MisinformationNo Benefit to the ConsumerNot Adequately Tested or RegulatedOnly Big CorporationsDoes Not Benefit Small FarmersNo Reduction in Pesticide UsageMay Harm the EnvironmentRisks are Unknown; Cannot RecallEuropeans are Not Using itFarmers Are Rejecting It
    51. 51. What Can Scientists Do? Speak up!• Write Commentaries, Op-Eds• Regulatory and Legislative process• Public Forums; Community• Respond to Misinformation• Letters to The Editor• Network with Reporters
    52. 52. Effective Communication• Keep it simple and focused• Avoid misquotes• Power of metaphors
    53. 53. • Place the issue in context• Story telling• Use examples that they can relate• Respectful of audience• Use humor; in a measured manner• Avoid negative terms (GMO; Contamination)
    54. 54. • Build on concerns, knowledge and values of the audience• Not one-way communication but interaction• Network with journalists
    55. 55. How Can Biotech Help Third World Agriculture?•Improve Food and Nutritional Security•Increase Crop Productivity•Enhance Production Efficiency•Reduce Crop Damage& Food Loss•Promote Sustainable Agriculture•Reduce Environmental Impact•Empower the Rural Sector through Income Generation•Reduce Economic Inequity