GEAC revalidated 10-GM crops for field trails

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) revalidated the field trials for 10 varieties of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops viz. wheat, rice, maize, cotton, sorghum, etc.

  • The panel has allowed multi-national seed companies viz. Mahyco, BASF India and Monsanto India to go ahead with wider or phase-II field trials for these genetically modified crops.
  • The companies desiring to go for confined field trials will have to approved first by the respective State governments because agriculture is a State subject under Constitutional provision.
  • Revalidation of GM crops varieties was required due to the lapse of validity period on account of State governments not allowing field trial.
  • The GEAC had given its clearance in those 10 cases way back in 2011 and 2012.

Functions of Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC)

  • To permit the use of GMOs and products thereof for commercial applications.
  • To adopt producers for restriction or prohibition, production, sale, import & use of GMOs both for research and applications under EPA.
  • To approve for conduct of large scale field trials, evaluation of large scale field trial data and final approval for release of transgenic crop in to the environment.
  • To authorize large scale production and release of GMOs and productsthereof into the environment.
  • To authorize agencies or persons to have powers to take punitive actions under the EPA.

Note: The committee under the chairmanship of additional secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Mr. Hem Pande did not take decision on any new cases in its meeting on Friday. It will meet again on April 25, 2014 to take a call on 70 fresh applications.