The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) permitted certain companies as well as the research institutes for conducting the field trials of 5 GM (genetically modified) crops. The trials for development of genetically modified cotton, maize, castor, wheat and rice were permitted.
The specialty of GM crops is that they are formulated for getting protection against the insects. Also, these crops are resistant to salinity and water. Also, they are more resistance to the use of nitrogen which is required by them for growing efficiently.
The decision by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee to allow field trials came after the concerns of industry that without the permission of trials, another trial season would be missed, thereby stopping the research activities for third year in a row.
A meeting was conducted in New Delhi and in the meeting, GEAC, which is constituted under Union Ministry of Environment, allowed Bayer Bioscience for conducting the event selection trials on 45 transgenic rice events, which also include six genes. There would be a test of insecticidal proteins like Cry1Ab and Cry1Ca, which provide resistance to the crops from insects like stem borer.
The field trials of these 5 GM crops would be conducted in various states of India and these include Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Bayer Bioscience’s proposal for conducting the pollen flow study in cotton was also given clearance by GEAC. The pollen flow study in cotton is meant to measure distance pollen containing herbicide tolerant gene flows.
Apart from this, Mahyco’s proposal for conducting the even selection trials was also accepted by the committee. Mahyco’s proposal includes selection trials at a lot of locations for the experiments in the nitrogen use efficiency in cotton.
The validity of trials in castor which is conducted by the Directorate of Oilseeds Research in Hyderabad was also extended by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee.
Directorate of Oilseeds Research had proposed to conduct tests in GM castor by adding Cry1Ec and Cry1Aa genes. This gives resistance to castor against stress and insects.
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