Field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops would not be permitted in the State under any circumstances, said Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan.
The Minister made the statement in the wake of the approval given by the Union Environment Ministry for the decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to permit field trials of GM crops, including rice, wheat, and maize. At the same time, Environment Minister M. Veerappa Moily also clarified that the field trials would be subject to consent of the respective State.
Speaking after inaugurating a two-day seminar on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Plantation Sector’ at the headquarters of Plantation Corporation of Kerala Ltd here on Friday, Mr. Mohanan said there would be no change in the government policy to ensure that Kerala remained a GM-free State. “The State has opposed the trial of GM crops owing to various issues, including the possible consequences upon humans and the lack of required safety norms. The government will remain firm in its position,” he said.
He said the K. Kasturirangan report on the conservation of the Western Ghats would not be implemented without clearing the apprehension of those who felt threatened by the recommendations. The government was pursuing various options to attain self-sufficiency in the farm sector, he said.