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Indian industry bemoans GM crop trial delays

The consortium of Indian agbiotech companies, Able-Ag, has appealed to the Minister of Environment and Forests and the chairman of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to allow field trials of genetically modified crops in the upcoming kharif (summer) season. Over 50 applications for field trials have been pending for a year, “severely affecting” research. The GEAC had not held a meeting for a year since since April 2012 and the reconstituting of the committee in March does not seem have made much difference ( Agrow No 660, p 23). A meeting in March did not lead to any decisions. “In 2012, field testing of many products had reached a crucial stage in the development, and therefore this delay has created a serious impediment for further progress in product development by most of our member companies,” says Able-Ag executive director Dr N Seetharama.

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