Madhya Pradesh says no to field trials for genetically modified chickpea and mustard

The Union agriculture ministry had recommended in August this year that NOCs be given for field trials in transgenic mustard and chickpea crop.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: November 19, 2014 1:42 am

BJP-RULED Madhya Pradesh has denied permission for field trials in genetically modified chickpea and transgenic mustard hybrid, arguing that there is no credible and irrefutable evidence about GM crops not having adverse impact on humans/animals, biodiversity and environment.

Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi South Campus, had sought no-objection certificate from the MP government for Biosafety Research Level-II (BRL-II) for transgenic mustard hybrid DHM-11 and Sungro Seeds Ltd, a private company, for Biosafety Research Level-I (BRL-I) in chickpea.

Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Rajesh Rajora told The Indian Express the NOCs were refused for field trials for GM food crops because there are apprehensions about adverse impact on human beings/animals, environment and bio-diversity, and the government’s stand won’t change till there was irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

The MP government’s stand is contrary to the position taken by the NDA government which had written to certain states to allow field trials for GM crops. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has permitted field trials for more than a dozen crops but field trials can take place only if the state concerned gives an NOC.

While MP has not given NOC for transgenic mustard, Punjab and Delhi governments have already given permission for field trials while Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana are sitting over applications. “MP’s stand is unfortunate, field trials must go on,’’ Vibha Gupta of the CGMCP said.