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No Ban on GM Crop Field Trials, Govt Policy is Case-by-Case Approvals, Ministers Tell Lok Sabha

* The government policy is to allow GM crops after full scientific evaluation of their bio-safety and impact, impact on the environment and on consumers, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, MoS for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries told the Lok Sabha on 22 July, 2014 in response to unstarred question No. 1738. He said the government follows a policy of ‘case by case’ approvals for GM crops.

* On 23 July, 2014, Minister for Environment and Forests, Prakash Javadekar told Sultanpur (UP) MP Varun Gandhi that there ‘is no proposal for a complete ban’ on release of GM organisms either for commercial cultivation or for experiments. Before any GM plant is approved for commercial cultivation, ‘extensive evaluation and regulatory  approval process takes place’ he said in reply to unstarred question No. 1932 in the Lok Sabha.
* ‘There is no credible scientific evidence proving that GM crops have an adverse impact on the environment, human health and livestock,’ MoS agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan told the Lok Sabha in response to unstarred question No 3627 on 5 August, 2014. Twenty seven countries including the US, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada and China were cultivating twenty five GM crops including soyabean, cotton, maize, canola (rapeseed), papaya and tomato on a 175.2 million ha in 2013, he added.
* MoEF Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha on 26 November, 2014 (unstarred question No. 596) that the central government had filed its objections in the Supreme Court against the ban on GM crop trials recommended by five of six members of the Technical Expert Committee which the apex court had set up in May 2012 to examine the strength of India’s regulatory mechanism. The government is of the view that ‘research in GM and confined field trials for generating bio-safety data with all due precautions should be allowed to continue in the national interest,’ Javadekar stated.

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