Environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday dropped strong hints that the NDA government is likely to allow controlled field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, while maintaining that it would be cautious about approving them for commercial use.
“How can you stop science, that is the question,” Javadekar told HT. He added, however, that his ministry had not yet signed off on a recent proposal by a regulatory panel to allow trials of some GM crops, a necessary step in product development. The minister said there was a distinction between allowing scientific trials of GM technologies and approval for commercial use. “Science cannot be stopped,” he reiterated.
Javadekar said this did not automatically amount to government permission for the trials to resume. Asked about the stated position of the BJP — widely presumed to be anti-GM — Javadekar said, “You see…there are GM food crops and then there are non-food crops.”
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