Federation of Seed Industry of India expresses disappointment on response to transgenic crop trials

Dr. Shivendra Bajaj, Executive Director, Federation of Seed Industry of India and Alliance for Agri Innovation said, “We are disappointed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s regressive decision to not go ahead with the Bt Brinjal field trials or any other GM crop trials without considering the recommendations from States and UTs. This further complicates the already cumbersome process of conducting field trials of transgenic crops in India. As per the regulatory process, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) reviews the data submitted along with the application to conduct field trials and is the only body by law to review the safety of the submitted data and grant final approval of field trials. It is not possible for the states to review the data and make decision. GM crops undergo rigorous safety assessment and conducting scientific research trials is a crucial part of this safety assessment. The proposed process further puts a question mark for science to progress in agricultural biotechnology let alone commercialization and will lead to complete stoppage of GM research in India.”

Mr. Ram Kaundinya, Director General, Federation of Seed Industry of India and Alliance for Agri Innovation said, “This will jeopardise the huge investments made by the Indian private sector companies in this space as well as the investments being made by the government through public institutions. Careers of thousands of students studying biotechnology will be finished. If we do not use GM technology, we will also lose opportunities to save water and reduce fertilizer and pesticide consumption. This is a huge set back for science and technology in agriculture. Most importantly it puts the Indian farmer at the grave risk of becoming uncompetitive in the International markets. We need to ensure that farmers in India get access to the same technology that farmers in many other countries enjoy. Our Honourable Prime Minister has committed to the doubling of Farmers income and adoption of new innovations is a major component of the strategy to achieving this goal. Therefore, we urge that the science based regulatory process in the country be restored and all applications are assessed in purely scientific and time-based manner. In fact, we request that the Government develops a science-based biotechnology policy which would enable India to regain the leadership in biotechnology that we once enjoyed.”   

For more information:
Federation of seed industry of India

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