single credible report of any harm to humans, animals or the environment.
"On the other hand, the benefits have been many; the production, productivity and farmer incomes have all gone up! The functioning of our regulatory system is being stifled by strident activism and misleading campaigns. Even our legal structures are being misused to this end..."
"... Well, this does not mean that there is no scope for further improving the present regulatory system. But for this you need not stop the trials. Do you think we should stop all construction work in the country because the building regulations need improvements?" she asked.
Asked about the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan expressing concern at field-testing of GM crops, she said: "If the minister has expressed such a concern, it is certainly unfounded."
She also argued that the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill (which is yet to be tabled in Parliament) does effectively address some of the inadequacies of the present system.
It was prepared after wide-ranging consultations among all stakeholders including the public, Mazumdar-Shaw said.
However, it can be further refined and that should happen through discussions in various fora including the Parliament. Demand for outright rejection of the bill based on mere canards is not in the interest of democratic functioning.
On Agriculture Ministry favouring GMOs, and Environment Ministry wanting to put field trials of GM crops in abeyance till the Parliament passes BRAI bill, she said: "The agricultural ministry is mandated to promote Indian agriculture and if they find GM crops to be a potent option to reach this end, what is wrong with it?"