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India requires state clearance for field trials

India’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has issued guidelines requiring applicants for field trials of genetically modified crops to obtain a no-objection certificate from the government of the state where they intend to carry out the trials, reports Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The GEAC has also asked companies conducting trials to provide the exact co-ordinates of the field to ensure they are not close to any ecologically fragile zone. The move would likely delay trials as the administrative work would take time, leading to the planting season being missed, PTI reports a consortium of 14 leading companies, Able-Ag, as saying. India’s Environment Minister directed the GEAC in March to withdraw permission for Monsanto’s field trials of GM insect-resistant Bt maize in the state of Bihar at the request of the state’s Chief Minister ( Agrow No 612, p 24).

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