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Nine cotton-growing states grow Bt cotton

November 23, 2007 (India)

Bt cotton is the only genetically engineered crop approved by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) for commercial cultivation in nine cotton growing states.

These states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The total area under Bt cotton cultivation is approximately 128,44,000 acres.

The GEAC has also approved the field testing of Bt rice, Bt okra, Bt brinjal, Bt tomato, Bt potato, Bt groundnut and Bt cotton expressing new gene events of which field trials of Bt rice, Bt okra, Bt brinjal and Bt cotton have been initiated.

The states where field trials of GM crops have been undertaken include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, , Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Extensive Rules and guidelines have been framed for evaluating the environmental and health safety aspects of genetically modified crops.

The GEAC also takes into consideration the results of the biosafety data, findings of the field trials as well as recommendations of the Monitoring cum Evaluation Committee (MEC) constituted by the Government for evaluating the field trials of GM crops and recommendations of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) before approving the GM crop for commercial cultivation.

Only those transgenic crops which are found to be safe for human consumption as well as the environment are approved for commercial release

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Sh. Namo Narain Meena in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha.

Press Information Bureau Government of India
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