GMO news related to India

18.12.2006 |

Map of Indian GE rice field trials
Map of Indian GE rice field trials

Genetic panel to examine Delhi University field trials

The Supreme Court has asked the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) to examine the impact of ongoing Delhi University field trials on genetically modified DMH-11 mustard variety in the light of expert opinion that such exercises are toxic and harmful.

14.12.2006 |

Rasi Seeds likely to launch GM bajra hybrids in kharif ’07

For the kharif 2007 season (July-October), Salem-based private seed major Rasi Seeds (RSPL) is planning to launch a range of genetically-modified (GM) bajra or pearl millet hybrids covering all the major bajra-growing states in the country. RSPL’s MD M Ramasami told ET that after a successful trial marketing in kharif 2006 season, the company is launching hybrid bajra in collaboration with Icrisat, Hyderabad. The two hybrids, Rasi 4461 and Rasi 3051, will target markets in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. “Farmers’ reports are in favour of the product and the next season will be dominated by GM versions,” he added.

12.12.2006 |

GM paddy runs into rough weather in Tamil Nadu (India)

Field trials of genetically modified (GM) rice in Tamil Nadu may be nipped in the bud. While the Centre has done virtually nothing to dispel the Frankenstein theories about the anti-GM crop groups, the state is mulling a legislation to ban such trials altogether. "The government may issue a law banning GM crop trials. We hope the Centre will support us," said Tamil Nadu agriculture minister Veerapandi Arumugam. The minister's reply came in the wake of severe concerns raised by legislators across party lines. While Congress leader, Peter Alphonse, said: "GM crops will wipe out traditional crops", PMK legislator Velmurugan, said: "GM crops are being dumped in India to harm the farming sector."

11.12.2006 |

MRTPC issues notice to Monsanto

he Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has asked Monsanto, US seed multinational to respond within four weeks to the Andhra Pradesh government’s contention that it was liable to pay compensation to the farmers for selling Bt cottonseeds at exorbitant prices. In response, Monsanto said that its Indian subsidiary Mahyco—Monsanto Biotech (MMB) was responsible for operations in the country. Opposing Monsanto’s contention, the state government had said the US company has been controlling stake in its sister concern and demanded refund of the excessive money paid by cotton growers on the company’s Bt cotton seeds.

05.12.2006 |

Indian Government has no plans to ban Bt cotton: Bhuria

The Government has no plans of banning the genetically modified crops including Bt Cotton, Minister of State for Agriculture, Kanti Lal Bhuria, said. This announcement is expected to provide major relief to the Bt Cotton farmers, who are entitled to grow the transgenic crop on a commercial basis. In India, only genetically modified cotton has been approved by the designated authority, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, for commerical cultivation.

04.12.2006 |

Moratorium sought on Bt rice trials in India

Indian rice exporters, concerned over the reported violations of biosafety norms in the field trials of Bt rice, have appealed to the Supreme Court to keep GM crops field trials in abeyance. The All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) has filed an intervention application in a writ petition filed by Aruna Rodrigues and others seeking a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops. The writ filed by Aruna Rodgrigues and others is in the advanced stage of hearing. The next hearing is scheduled on December 15.AIREA executive director Anil Adlakha said : “We, in our intervention application, have urged that field trials of any GM rice should be kept in abeyance, till the regulatory provisions are made stringent and transparent for implementation of biosafety norms.

04.12.2006 |

Violation alleged in GM rice field trials in India

The controversy surrounding field trials of the genetically modified rice by the Mahyco near Raipur in Chhattisgarh took a new turn with activists, based on their investigations, lodging a formal complaint against the company with the District Magistrate and the local police. Based on their field trip and inquiries, the anti-GM activists belonging to Richharia Campaign alleged that the company had committed serious violations under the Environment Protection Act (EPA), bio-safety guidelines prescribed for GM-related research and the conditional clearance given for conducting the trials.

30.11.2006 |

A hundred farm suicides a month in Vidarbha

The farm activist also refuted the government claim that the low yield is due to spurious Bt. Cotton seed saying that there was no spurious cotton seed in the market since Monsanto had lowered their prices from Rs.1780 per bag to Rs.750. Five months after the announcement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Rs.3750 crore - relief package for the distressed farmers in Vidarbha, the suicide spiral has continued disturbingly with reports of five more farmers ending life in the last two days.

27.11.2006 |

Bt rice on trial in India

THE tranquil routine of Rangaraju's retired life, in Ramanathapuram village near Coimbatore, was in for a rude shock. On the morning of November 10, people from the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association landed up at his doorstep. They wanted to uproot the harvest in his farm. The farmers told him that his rice field had a genetically modified (GM) crop whose harvest could contaminate food supplies if it was not destroyed. A bewildered Rangaraju did not know how to react. He asked them for time to consult Mahyco, the company that was conducting a field trial on his plot. But before he knew it, the 150-strong crowd had uprooted the Bt rice crop from his field. In a matter of one day, this former schoolteacher found himself in the midst of an international controversy.

25.11.2006 |

Ground reality: Bt cotton crop rises to 8.6 m acres in India

NEW DELHI: Refuting the government’s claims on the area under Bt cotton in the country, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) has estimated that close to 8.6 million acres went under genetically modified cotton crop in ’06. That is more than double the 3.2m acres estimated by ISAAA to have gone under genetically modified (GM) cotton in ’05. The Centre has been contending that only a fraction of the total area under cotton in the country is under Bt cotton.