|"The planting of genetically modified crops in Viet Nam for husbandry food only will cause no harm to human health," said Animal Husbandry Association of Viet Nam President Nguyen Dang Vang. — Photo khoahoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese farmers would be allowed to mass grow genetically modified corn from June next year, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh has said.
The genetically modified corn MON 89034 is by far the first and only crop in Viet Nam that has been granted the bio-safety certificate from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the certificate on food safety and animal feed from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
"This marks a huge step for Viet Nam in the application of biotechnology plants in agriculture and opens the door for Vietnamese farmers to approach advanced technology in the world," Doanh said.
Before achieving the certificate on bio-safety in Vietnam, MON 89034 had been awarded the certificate in eight countries, including the US, Japan and Brazil, he said
The modified plant belongs to Dekalb Vietnam Ltd., Co., a subsidiary in Viet Nam of the global United States-based seedling group Monsanto.
Results from tests on genetically modified corn since 2007 showed the crops possessed higher anti-worm capabilities that helped reduce the use of pesticides, while yielding 30-40 per cent more than normal corn.
Ha Noi Agriculture University I's Bio-technology Department Head Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said that bio-technology plants helped to improve the environment by cutting about 19 billion kilograms of CO2 in 2010, equivalent to the exhaust fumes of nearly 9 million cars.
"Bio-technology plants also contributed to 16.5 million farmers escaping poverty", she added.
While the benefits of genetically modified plants have been widely proven, some experts still hold reservations over their possible effect on human health.
Animal Husbandry Association of Viet Nam President Nguyen Dang Vang said that corn imported for husbandry activities were mainly from genetically modified corn-producing countries like Brazil, India and the US. He said there was yet to be any proof of negative effects of consuming the meat.
"The planting of genetically modified crops in Viet Nam for husbandry food only will cause no harm to human health," he concluded. — VNS