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Anwar pitches for robust regulatory system for GM crops

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 21:23

Hyderabad: Emphasising on the role of biotechnology in improving farm yields, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar Tuesday said there is a need for "robust" regulatory system to address the safety concerns.

"What is needed is robust regulatory system which has scientifically established mechanism for evaluation of genetically modified (GM) crops so that all the issues raised on this matter can be put to rest," Anwar said at the inauguration of the World Agriculture Congress.

Besides Anwar, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and state agriculture minister Lakshmi Narayana were also present at the event.

Anwar also suggested that scientific community and research body ICAR should provide clarity on this sensitive issue, according to an official statement.

The government has allowed commercial cultivation of Bt cotton, while moratorium has been put on Bt brinjal.

Permission has been given to private companies to conduct field trials of GM crops such as cotton, corn and maize in Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

However, a technical committee appointed by the Supreme Court had recently recommended an indefinite moratorium on open field trials of GM crops till the deficiencies in the regulatory and safety systems are effectively addressed.

Anwar called for judicious use of natural resources, though use of better technologies can help achieve primary goal of food security even if land and water resources.

Apart from impoved technologies, the minister stressed the role of `contract farming and value addition` of Indian food in enhancing farm productivity.

He also underlined the measures being taken to tackle impact of climate change on Indian agriculture.

First Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 21:23

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