GM brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea, and cotton trials planned
Maharashtra’s approval of GMO field trials is economically foolish, given the risk to food exports. It is also in contempt of the verdicts of no less than three expert committees, which concluded that India should approach GMO field trials with extreme caution and/or ban them until a competent regulatory system was in place.
Maharashtra gives nod for field trial of 5 GM crops
Niti Central, Jan 30, 2015
The Maharashtra government has given 'no objection certificate' for field trial of five genetically modified (GM) crops — brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea, and cotton — in the state.
Since June 2011, it has been made mandatory for companies to obtain NOC from the state governments where they want to conduct field tests.
"Barring rubber, the Maharashtra government has given NOC for conducting field trials of GM crops — brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea and cotton," said C D Mayee, member of the committee that suggests the state government on GM crops.
In a meeting yesterday, the Committee-headed by Anil Kakodkar had given clearance for field test of these five GM crops, he told reporters while releasing a report on "Global status of biotech crops" by international body ISAAA.
The state government has approved field trial of BT rice and two other rice varieties which are drought tolerant and has nitrogen use efficiency.
Maharasthra is focusing on allowing those GM crops that address the problem of insecticides, weedicide, and diseases in crops like rice, cotton, soyabean, groundnut, pigeonpea, brinjal, chilli, and others.
Besides Maharasthra, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh have given NOCs for field trials of some biotech crops, while states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have banned such research activities.