Ministries join hands to fight out genetic contamination

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 9 | Updated: Aug 10 2007, 04:34am hrs
In view of the recent controversy over genetic contamination, owing to field trials and commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in the country, the science and technology ministry has offered to resolve the issue. It would work with the agriculture ministry in formulating standards for genetic contamination of various crops.

The Supreme Court, in its recent order, had asked the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) to set up a protocol for detecting 0.0!% level of genetic contamination. It said that the field trials of GM crops should ensure that genetic contamination should not be above 0.01%.

We are working with the agriculture ministry in setting up the standards for genetic contamination of various crops, said the S&T minister, Kapil Sibal told FE National economic benefits, including carbon credits, by use of biopesticides and biofertilisers would be assessed by October 2007. S&T ministry would prepare a working paper and plan for rejuvenating tea industry in north India by October 2007 Sibal on Thursday announced time-bound programmes for reinvigorating Indian agriculture through science and technology.