GM technology has helped in increasing cotton production, says govt

While the MoS Agriculture, Mr Parshottam Rupala credited the adoption of Bt Cotton for increase in the production of the crop, he also emphasized that there is a separate process of evaluation of safety of each genetically modified crop

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New Delhi: The productivity of cotton increased from 191 kg per hectare in 2002-03 to 477 kg per hectare in 2017-18 and the production of cotton has been increased from 86.21 lakh bales in 2002-03 to 348.88 lakh bales in 2017-18 due to adoption of Bt cotton in the country. This was stated by the Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr Parshottam Rupala on the floor of Parliament on 8th January.

Mr Rupala further said that there is a well established regulatory framework for approval of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops as per “Rules for the Manufacture/Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in the Country.

“Evaluation of each application of GM crop is done on a case-to-case basis after a thorough examination of health, environment, food and feed safety assessment studies undertaken in a systematic and scientific manner as per prescribed guidelines, manuals and standard operating procedures stipulated by various regulatory agencies under the Rules, 1989 from time to time,” said the Minister further, “The data generated by the applicants is reviewed at every step in the development process of GM crops by various Statutory Committees under the Rules, 1989 such as Institutional Biosafety Committee, Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation and Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee.”