Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) on 21 March 2014 revalidated ten varieties of Genetically Modified (GM) crops including wheat, rice, maize, cotton and sorghum for field trails.
Revalidation of GM crops varieties was required due to the lapse of validity period on account of State governments not allowing field trial. The GEAC had given its clearance in those 10 cases way back in 2011 and 2012.
The committee allowed multi-national seed companies to go for confined field trials of these varieties. The companies desiring to go for confined field trials, however, will have get it approved first by the respective State governments because agriculture is a State subject under Constitutional provision.
The GEAC under the chairmanship of Hem Pande, Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) did not take decision on any new cases in its meeting.
The green light for trials, which comes just ahead of the elections, provides hope to major promoters — multinational and Indian — of GM crop technology.
When: 21 March 2014