India’s rice industry says GMO rice trials would damage export prospects

India’s rice exporters have expressed concern over allowing large-scale field trials of the crop’s genetically modified (GM) version, saying it could adversely impact its marketability abroad.

Recently, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved ‘confined field trials’ for 10 agricultural crops, including rice. The trials approved by GEAC in February include Bayer Bioscience’s GM rice for insect tolerance, Mahyco and BASF India’s proposals on GM rice.

These approvals, however, need no-objection certificates from the concerned state governments.

“Questions also might be raised on Indian rice growers adopting GMO varieties purely for the higher yield and pest resistance while choosing to ignore the undesirable effects on consumers,” MP Jindal, president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), said.

Jindal said unless there were conclusive reports based on extensive testing in controlled environments, it would be against the interest of the rice industry to support trials of GM crops.

Read the full, original article: Exporters say no to large-scale field trials of GM rice

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