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Sep 15, 2011

2011 USDA GAIN Report - Status of GM Crops in India

On 15 September 2011, the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Services issued it annual Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report on the status of gene-modified (GM) crops in India.

According to this report:

* "Bt cotton is the only commercially approved biotech crop in India – a total of six events and more than 300 hybrids have been approved for commercial cultivation. Bt cotton accounts for over 90 percent of the total cotton area under cultivation. 

* There has not been any significant progress on the approval of Bt eggplant since the Ministry of Environment and Forest announced a moratorium on its approval in February, 2010. 

* India's Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), decided that applications for biotech crop field trials will need prior permission from state governments before seeking approval from GEAC."

* The successful adoption of Bt cotton has encouraged the development of agricultural biotechnology into one of fastest growing segments of the Indian biotech industry. Agricultural biotechnology is now the third largest sector in the domestic biotech industry, with total revenues of Rs. 24.8 billion ($557 million) in FY 2010/11 (April-March), a 28 percent growth over the previous year (Source: BioSpectrum-ABLE Industry Survey 2011). The revenue share of agricultural in the total biotechnology industry revenue has grown over the past five years from less than five percent to over 14 percent in 2010/11.

* In addition to cotton, private Indian seed companies and public sector research institutions (government research institutes and state agriculture universities) are working on the development of various biotech crops mainly for traits like pest resistance, nutritional enhancement, drought tolerance and yield enhancement. The crops currently being developed by public sector institutions include banana, cabbage, cassava, cauliflower, chickpea, cotton, eggplant, rapeseed/mustard, papaya, pigeon pea, potato, rice, tomato, watermelon and wheat. The private sector is focusing on cabbage, cauliflower, cotton, corn, rapeseed/mustard, okra, pigeon pea, rice and tomato."

The report provides charts of the regulatory approval process and lists of related regulations.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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