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India moves towards GM food crops

Genetically modified food crops including aubergines, cauliflowers and tomatoes will be commercially launched in India within the next three years, says the country’s Minister of State for Agriculture. The Ministry’s target is to release and promote GM varieties in some of the major vegetable crops over the next three years. India authorised field trials of GM insect-resistant Bt aubergines in 2007 amid a lot of controversy ( Agrow No 526, p 19). The aubergines, resistant to fruit and shoot borers ( Leucinodes orbonalis) will be the first GM crop to be commercially cultivated in the country. Approval is expected this year. However, in March, the Indian Genetic Engineering Approval Committee gave indications of a delay when it set up a sub-committee to review the adequacy of the biosafety data submitted and the toxicity and allergenicity protocols ( Agrow No 563, p 22).

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