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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
03-September-2012 16:59 IST
Ban on Field Trials of GM Crops

Government of Rajasthan has recently conveyed its decision to withdraw the No Objection Certificate (NOC) which was issued to Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi for conduct of second season Biosafety Research Level (BRL-I) trial with GM Mustard approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) in their state. On perusal of the directions issued by the Government of Rajasthan, it was noted that no new facts regarding non-compliance of biosafety measures or evidence of harm have been cited as a reason which compelled them to withdraw their NOC. As per the information available with the Ministry, the State Government allowed the completion of the GM mustard field trials by CGMCP at two locations whereas at the third location, the standing crop was destroyed by burning in the presence of officials from State Agriculture Department of Rajasthan.

The representation received from CGMCP regarding the above was considered in the GEAC meeting held on 11.4.2012 wherein the Committee opined that once the due process of permission to carry out experiments has been granted, then NOC should not be withdrawn arbitrarily as the regulatory system needs to be transparent, consistent and predictable. Notwithstanding the above, the Committee further stated that agriculture being a state subject, decision of the Government of Rajasthan not to allow field trials in the state needs to be honoured.

The above information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan to the Parliament today.

MC/sk