October 7, 2011
Vietnam to stop growing GM crops
Vietnam should not develop gene-modified (GM) crops at the moment as agreed by scientists in the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) seminar in Hanoi on October 5.
They warned that GM crops could be problematic for environmental reasons and could also have ill effects on the health of people who eat them.
Le Thi Phi Van from the Institute of Policy and Strategies for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) said localities, where GM crops were piloted, have all reported that GM crops did not produce high yield.
Higher occurrence of pests was seen at GM crop fields, Van said on Thursday (Oct 6). Prices of GM varieties were five times higher than those of ordinary ones.
Professor Tram Dinh Long, president of Vietnam Seed Trade Association, added that Vietnam should restrain from growing GM crops before conducting enough trials to prevent harmful effects on the environment.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong said Vietnam will grow GM crops in small scales to study carefully their negative impacts before expand their cultivation.
The Vietnamese government has allowed experimental growing of GM corn, soy and cotton. The MARD started piloting cultivation of seven GM corn varieties last year.
GM crops were a subject of controversy since they were first created in the 1980s.
The US, Canada, African developing countries, Latin America and Asia support the use of GM crops but EU is very conservative in licensing the cultivation of such crops. A group of countries keep neutral attitude.