Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Monday indicated that his ministry will endorse the production of Genetically Modified (GM) crops if they are approved by the Environment Ministry.
Reacting to the question over possible commercial release of GM mustard, which was cleared by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) on May 11, Singh said his ministry’s job was to “promote production of crops approved by scientists and the Environment Ministry”.
Briefing the media about the achievements of his ministry in the last three years, he said his ministry’s mandate was to increase production of crops, bring down their prices.
“We have clear mandate of taking measures to increase production of agriculture produce that are notified by scientists or the Environment Ministry. It does not matter if it is GM or non-GM,” he said.
The GEAC has recommended commercial cultivation of a GM mustard variety, which is developed by Delhi University-based Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants.
Now, the matter is pending with the Environment ministry. The green ministry’s approval will allow commercial release of GM mustard, which will then become first edible GM crop in the country.
GM Brinjal has already been allowed for commercial production. However, former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had refused it clearance, putting an indefinite moratorium on the decision