The Times of India
July 15, 2009
NEW DELHI: In a decision that’s likely to kick off a controversy, the government on Tuesday announced that it plans to introduce genetically modified (GM) food — tomato, brinjal and cauliflower — in the country within the next three years.
This is the first time the agriculture ministry has promised to introduce GM food crops. The announcement was made by the agriculture ministry in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Department of Biotechnology have approved the three transgenic crops that are in various stages of tests and development in institutes across the country.
After these tests, the final clearance for allowing for cultivation of GM varieties will be given by the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation and the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, which themselves have been accused of having a conflict of interest as well as favouring the biotech industry.
Till date, India has only allowed genetically modified cotton — a non-food crop. The use of GM cotton has grown, but so has the controversy around it.