Five states decide to prohibit release of GM seeds

Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Karnataka have taken a decision to prohibit environmental release of all GM seeds.

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2012, 22:33 PM IST

New Delhi: Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala,
Uttarakhand and Karnataka have taken a decision to prohibit
environmental release of all genetically modified (GM) seeds,
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

She said currently field trials have been allowed only in
Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Recently Rajasthan Government has conveyed its decision
to withdraw the No Objection Certificate (NOC) which was
issued to Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants,
University of Delhi for conduct of second season Biosafety
Research Level (BRL-I) trial with GM Mustard in their state.
Natarjan further stated that the Genetic Engineering
Approval Committee (GEAC) has been approached by the Seed
Industries, Ministry of Agriculture and Review Committee on
Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) to reconsider its decision on the
need of NOC from the State Government prior to the conduct of
GM crop field trial.

The matter was discussed in the GEAC meeting held in
December last year wherein it was recognized that issue of
non-issuance of NOC by the State Government is mainly due to
lack of clarity on the role State Government officials and
lack of awareness on highly technical issues associated with
biotechnology and biosafety measures, she said in a written
reply.

It was also reiterated that the role of the State
Government is very critical for compliance monitoring and
therefore it is important to have a dialogue with the State
Government to provide necessary clarification.
Accordingly, it was agreed that the GEAC may give
detailed presentations with a view to addressing the concerns
of the State Government and throwing more light on its role,
Natarajan said.

PTI