Indian govt gives go ahead for field trials of 11 GM crops

New Delhi/August 22
Indian government on Thursday said that it has given its go ahead for field trials of 11 Genetically Modified (GM) crops that includes cotton, rice, castor, wheat, maize, tomato, groundnut, potato, sorghum, okra, brinjal, mustard, watermelon, papaya, sugarcane, rubber, banana, pigeon pea, Artemisia annua L. and chickpea.
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan said that the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has approved experimental field trials for the purpose of generating biosafety data in respect of GM crops such as cotton, rice, castor, wheat, maize, tomato, groundnut, potato, sorghum, okra, brinjal, mustard.
She said that currently about 79 applications covering 11 crops namely cotton, rice, castor, maize, wheat, sugarcane, brinjal, potato, chickpea, mustard and sorghum are pending with the GEAC. Out of the 79 applications, 24 are awaiting NOC from the State Governments and the remaining 55 are yet to be considered by the GEAC.
“In view of the objections received from some of the State Governments regarding GM crop field trials in their State, the GEAC in its meeting held on 6.7.2011 decided to direct the applicants to obtain NOC from the State Government in the first instance before issuance of the approval letter. Further, the entire issue is subjudice in the Supreme Court,” she added.

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