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Curbs on GM crop trials have paralysed seed industry in Indiaqrcode

Sep. 23, 2013

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Sep. 23, 2013
With uncertainty dogging trials of genetically modified crops, the Indian seed industry is in a state of limbo, Chairman of the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises – Agriculture Group (ABLE – AG) V.R. Kaundinya said.

He told Business Line that “February 8, 2010 will remain an unforgettable day for the industry, for it was on that day the then Minister for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh imposed a moratorium on Bt Brinjal. Since then, GM trials have turned patchy. Further, with the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) becoming inactive in the last 18-months or so and the subsequent decision to withdraw GM (Genetically-modified) crop trials since May this year, the situation has worsened for the investors in this space,” he said

The industry has lost confidence as the entire investment in GM crop developments has taken a beating.

Industry players are in a wait-and-watch mode even for setting up labs. All our calculations have gone haywire, Kaundinya said.

Stating that stopping GM trials is a retrograde step and not the answer, he said the industry, instead, has been asking the Government to strengthen the regulatory process.

Meanwhile, with the matter in the Supreme Court and several State Governments not giving the No-Objection Certificate for field trials, the entire exercise has almost come to a halt.

“This is neither in the interest of the industry nor the farmer,” he said.

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