The government today said it has adequate regulatory provisions to check the quality of genetically modified (GM) seeds such as Bt Cotton introduced by companies in the country.

“The government has adequate regulatory provisions under the Seed Act, 1966, Seed Rules, 1968 and Seed Control Order, 1983 to check the quality of seeds introduced by companies in India,” Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) looks into the bio-safety aspects of GM crops prior to environmental release, he said.

Besides, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) also have mandate to regulate the bio-safety of a GM products, he added.

For instance, the MoEF last year had put a moratorium on introduction of Bt brinjal in the country following protests from farmers and environmentalists, who said GM crops are harmful for health and could damage the eco-system.

Similarly, the Environment Ministry stopped the field trial of Bt maize recently, concerned over the impact of GM food crops.

Keywords: GM foodMoEF