ACCORDING to some media reports, Pakistan has imposed a ban on future trials of genetically modified maize for an unspecified period in a bid to avoid natural crop contamination that can subsequently damage maize exports.
This decision was taken by the National Bio-Safety Committee. It merits a mention that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments have adverse views on the cultivation of genetically modified maize. Most of the stakeholders are of the view that there is no significant increase in yield or reduction in the cost of production by adopting genetically modified seeds.
Also, experts have observed that this would hurt locally grown corn which is a staple food for local population. Serious concerns have been raised about maize exports contaminated with genetically modified corn from Pakistan, which may hamper exports.
Pakistan should also follow the models of China, India and Turkey as far as production and distribution of bio-technology seeds are concerned. None of these countries has adopted genetically modified food crops.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019