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No decision on GM crops says Javadekar

PTI 01 Aug 2014, 22:04:41 PM IST
New Delhi: Days after two RSS linked outfits meeting Prakash Javadekar created a row, the Environment Minister today clarified that no decision has yet been taken on the issue of field trials of GM crops.

"Once we take decision we will let you know. The recommendation (of the bio-tech regulator) has not come to us. Once it comes, we will process and take decisions. Do not worry. We are not holding it," Javadekar told reporters on the sidelines of an event here. Two RSS-linked outfits - Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bhartiya Kissan Sangh had claimed that the field trials of genetically-modified crops has been put on hold and also had sought a ban on the field trials of GM crops of certain varieties.

They had claimed that the the bio-tech regulator Genetic Engineering Approval Committee's (GEAC) recent clearance for field trials of GM crops has been "put on hold" and had also apprised the minister of their concerns about the issue.

The GEAC meanwhile had earlier this month cleared 15 proposals for confined field trials for rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton. The delegation had reminded the Minister that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in its report on GM food crops - prospects and impacts, tabled in Parliament
on August 9, 2013 has clearly recommended the 'stopping of all field trials under any garb'.

Javadekar had earlier said, "We always respect science. A recommendation has come from an expert panel. The ministry takes decisions through a process. The decision on it has not been taken presently. This is the reality. When any decision is taken, we will tell you".