GEAC panel competent to evaluate GE crops: Government

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) The Environment Ministry on Sunday asserted that its panel was competent in subjects relevant to safety evaluation of Genetically Engineered (GE) crops.

The government’s assertion came in the backdrop of comments in a section of the media alleging that the sub-committee constituted by the Ministry’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for the approval of environmental release of GE Mustard for the development of new generation hybrids has “no health expert”.

“The GEAC in its 126th Meeting held in January, constituted a sub-committee with expert scientists in specific subjects relevant to safety evaluation of GE Crops,” said the Ministry in a statement released here.

According to the Ministry, the Sub-Committee consists of the health expert B. Sesikeran, who is an MD in pathology and is currently serving as Chairman of the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM).

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“The Assessment of Food and Environmental Safety (AFES) for Environmental release of GE Mustard (Brassica juncea) hybrid DMH-11 and use of parental events for development of new generation hybrids was placed on the website on September 5 for comments by stakeholders and general public for a period of 30 days,” said the Ministry.

“The full biosafety dossier is also available in the GEAC Secretariat,” it added.



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