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#GMCrops: Prakash Javadekar clarifies that Environment Ministry did not give approval for field trials of GM crops

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 8:04pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

  • prakash-javadekar Prakash Javadekar

Environment Ministry clarified that it has given no approval for field trials of certain varieties of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. The ministry, however, said that the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has recommended certain cases for field trials.

"Field trials of #GMCrops is not a Government Decision. It is a recommendation of a Committee," Javadekar tweeted on Monday.

The statutory body, which held its 121st meeting on Friday, had permitted confined field trials of 13 GM crops, including rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton, out of the 15 cases it considered. GEAC Chairman Hem Pande had said "field trials for certain varieties of GM crops including rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton had been cleared".

However, the field trials, or small scale experiments, on these crops were subject to No Objection Certificate (NOC) from state governments.

During the GEAC meeting, three cases of pharmaceuticals were also considered of which two were deferred and one case pertaining to revalidation of the GEAC nod was permitted.

Officials had said GEAC had "virtually" not met for almost two years from April 2012 to March 2014 due to which which decision on 79 applications for field trials remained pending.

These 79 cases, recommended by Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) under the Department of Biotechnology, included 37 cases of revalidation and 42 new cases involving confined (regulated) field trials related to cotton, rice, castor, maize, wheat, groundnut, sugarcane, chickpea, mustard, sorghum and brinjal.

The GEAC on Friday also decided to constitute a sub-committee to review the toxicology data generated by the applicants of GM brinjal developed by BejoSheetal P Limited and GM mustard developed by Delhi University South Campus in view of concerns raised by some of the members.

An official had said all GM crops field trials are subject to stringent norms which are as per the international standards. 

​Also read: RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh opposes Narendra Modi government's nod to field trials for more GM crops

Field trials of rice, cotton on the anvil​


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