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Prakash Javadekar’s clarification comes at a time when the regulator’s recommendation is being criticized by environmental groups. Photo: PTI
Prakash Javadekar’s clarification comes at a time when the regulator’s recommendation is being criticized by environmental groups. Photo: PTI

Prakash Javadekar says GM crops nod was not govt’s decision

Environment minister says biotech regulator had cleared proposals for confined field trials

New Delhi: Environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday tweeted that the go-ahead to genetically modified (GM) crops was a committee recommendation and not the government’s decision.

On Friday, biotech regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) had cleared proposals for confined field trials of 15 more varieties of GM crops, including chickpea, mustard, rice and brinjal. To be sure, the government needs to give a nod to the recommendation before the trials can begin.

The committee had cleared confined field trials, or small-scale experiments, on 11 GM varieties including four of rice, two each of wheat and cotton, and one each of maize, sorghum and groundnut in March.

Javadekar’s clarification comes at a time when the committee’s recommendation is being criticized by environmental groups including Greenpeace that claim the Bharatiya Janata Party in its manifesto had promised to take precautions before allowing field trials of GM crops.

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