The Maharashtra government has given ‘no objection certificate’ for field trial of five genetically modified (GM) crops — brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea and cotton — in the state.
Since June 2011, it has been made mandatory for companies to obtain ‘NOC’ from the state governments where they want to conduct field tests.
“Barring rubber, the Maharashtra government has given NOC for conducting field trials of GM crops — brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea and cotton,” said C D Mayee, member of the committee that suggests the state government on GM crops.
In a meeting on Thursday, the Committee-headed by Anil Kakodkar had given clearancefor field test of these five GM crops, he told reporters while releasing a report on ‘Global status of biotech crops’ by international body ISAAA. The state government has approved field trial of BT rice and two other rice varieties which are drought tolerant and has nitrogen use efficiency.
Maharasthra is focusing on allowing those GM crops that address the problem of insecticides, weedicide and diseases in crops like rice, cotton, soyabean, groundnut, pigeonpea, brinjal, chilli and others.
Besides Maharasthra, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have given NOCs for field trials of some biotech crops, while states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have banned such research activities.