Sri Lanka favours GM food: agriculture minister

July 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is not opposed to genetically modified (GM) food and is likely to allow their use with certain restrictions, a government minister has said. Hemakumara Nanayakkara, the non-Cabinet minister of agricultural development, said the government was consulting foreign experts on allowing GM food imports and cultivation of GM crops.

He was responding to a question on the government’s stand on GM crops at an economic summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on reviving the island economy after the end of the 30-year ethnic war.

“GM food is being consumed by everyone although officially it is not allowed in Sri Lanka,” Nanayakkara said.

There were imports of GM food although they were not labelled as such, he said.

“In the United Kingdom, under the law GM food should be labelled but here in Sri Lanka we do not officially permit it but unofficially it has got into the market.

“My personal opinion is that GM food should be allowed after careful study,” Nanayakkara said.

“If we can find a crop which through genetic engineering is made resistant to pests, it’s good.

“With certain limits I think GM will finally