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For Trials of GM Crops Centre Thinking about Agri University Farms.
The central regulator on transgenic organisms Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) of the environment ministry has proposed to tap farms of select agriculture universities as many states resist scientific field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops apprehending environmental risk to flora and fauna. For this purpose as a national coordinated project under strict supervision of experts.
Centre has identified 40 agricultural universities, which having big isolated farms, across the countries and keeping in mind different agro-climatic zones where transgenic varieties of seeds can be put on field trials with appropriate precaution.
An official of environment ministry informed that "Idea is to convince states about field trials of such crops in protected environment, arguing that the risks and benefits of genetically engineered crops cannot be know unless it is scientifically tested in different agro-climatic zones."
The universities like Uttar Pradesh (Jhansi), central agricultural universities in Bihar (Pusa, Samastipur) state agricultural universities in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jharkhand are have been identified for the purpose.
Officials said "After consulting states and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), a final decision on the issue will be taken."
Field trials of many transgenic varieties of rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, cotton, brinjal, mustard, potato, sugarcane and chickpea has approved by though the GEAC in the past two years, many states preferred not to give their mandatory nod for the scientific field testing.