India urged to adopt autonomous biotech regulatory authority

Noted agricultural scientist and Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan on Tuesday stressed the need for putting in place an autonomous biotechnology regulatory authority for ensuring bio-security of the country, with respect to the clearance of genetically modified crops.

“The regulatory authority will have to be autonomous and a creation of the Parliament. It has to conduct the risk-benefit analysis (with respect to the clearance for new GE crops) in a transparent and convincing manner in a bid to inspire the confidence of public, politicians and the media,” he told presspersons at the sidelines of the inaugural session of a two-day international conference on ‘Increasing agricultural productivity and sustainability in India: The future we want’, organised by the National Institute of Advanced Studies, in association with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.

He said the proposed authority should crosscheck the data provided by the bio-technology companies about their crops to independently ascertain facts.

Pointing out that India presently has a Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, which is chaired by the Additional Secretary in the Environment Ministry, he felt such committees cannot be autonomous.

View the full article here: Swaminathan for biotechnology regulatory body

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