GMOs in India face trials despite initial approval

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Indian environment ministry’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) approved field trials of 11 varieties of genetically-modified (GM) crops that had come to it for re-validation late March. However, mere approval of the GEAC does not mean that field trials can start in the coming kharif sowing season.

In fact, there is a chance that nothing might come of the approval, given that most states where the trials are to be conducted are not in favour of them. GEAC had, in an order issued in July 2011, mandated that the field trial of any GM crop cleared by it would have to be permitted by the state governments because agriculture falls in the concurrent list.

A majority of India’s 29 states are opposed to the field trial of GM crops. Some others are waiting for the Lok Sabha elections to get over before they take a call, while a few are willing to give conditional permission. Their condition is that they will allow trials for only non-food crops.

Read the full, original article: The trials of making modified crops a reality

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