Centre approves field trials of 14 GM crops. But some states refuse trials, saying safety regulations are too lax. With politicians joining activists, the issue is likely to take a politically volatile turn. This special report in DTE uncovers the mess in GM crops.
As India gets ready to unleash a vast number of genetically modified (GM) food crops, politicians have joined activists in opposing engineered crops. This is snowballing into a volatile political issue with states refusing to let the Centre have the final say in the matter. A number of chief ministers have objected to field tests of GM crops being conducted in their backyard, while some have declared that their states will be GM-free, citing health and environmental concerns. The political standoff comes against the worrying backdrop of slipshod regulation. Not only is illegal herbicide-tolerant cotton spreading across the country, biosafety regulations are being openly flouted by private crop developers acting in collusion with public research institutions. At the same time the industry is demanding a dilution of the rules on field tests and other regulations.
Opinion: Indian scientists - missing in action.
Report: Inter-Academy report on GM crops.
Feature: How competent is Indian science?
Report: Bt brinjal event EE1 - the scope of GEAC toxicological risk assessment.
Report: Economic benefits of Bt Brinjal.
Report: Who benefits from gm crops?
Report: Moratorium on Bt Brinjal.
Bill: Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2009.