ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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GM Crops and Global Agri Trade

The cultivation of geneticallymodified crops, especially food crops, is not just a domestic issue; it has an impact on global food trade as well.

There is no doubt that the application of biotechnology can lead to yield improvement, cost cutting and lower crop losses, besides providing more processable raw materials and designer products. That is why it is said that the food processing industry may become the “chemical constituent of food industry” in the future and the pharmaceutical industry may be turned into the “pharming industry” due to the agricultural or biological production of pharmaceutical ingredients. It is estimated that a 1% increase in solids (5%) content of tomato can add value to processing that is worth millions of dollars.

The emergence of biotechnology as an important factor in agriculture and the food sector has led to wide-ranging debates on four major aspects: food safety, environmental or biosafety, equity and social concerns, and ethics. Given the power of biotechnology to bring about major changes in the way primary production, and processing and value addition take place through “appropriationism” and “substitutionism” (Goodman et al 1987), there is the possibility of a very major restructuring of the food and fibre sectors.

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