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No State Reported Risk To Farm Crops By Sowing Unapproved HT Cotton: Tomar

Highlighting the benefits of GM crops, the minister said they give an advantage by reducing crop loss due to pest infestation and weeds.

Photo Credit : Reuters

1471851109_jOvNuj_INDIA-COTTON-reuters-470.jpg

No state has reported risk to crops by sowing unapproved herbicide-tolerant cotton even as the Centre has issued several advisories to the federal governments to control the sale, production and storage of such seeds, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament on Tuesday.

Bt Cotton is the only genetically modified (GM) crop approved for commercial cultivation in India by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the environment ministry, he said.

Tomar in a written reply to the Lok Sabha said, however, 'Herbicide Tolerant (HT) cotton is not approved by the GEAC'.

As per the media report, the cultivation of unapproved HT cotton is reported in some states of the country. The agriculture ministry has issued several advisories to states for control of sale/production/ storage and further spread of HT Cotton in the state, he added.

'However, no state has reported risking farmers' crops by sowing unapproved GM cotton,' he informed.

Highlighting the benefits of GM crops, the minister said they give an advantage by reducing crop loss due to pest infestation and weeds.

The numbers of sprays of pesticide are reduced and the input cost on farm labour is also reduced, which gives an advantage in enhancing the crop productivity and production, he said.

The GEAC evaluates the data for approval of GM crops for commercial release, he added. 

(PTI)