GM Crops got approval for trials

Date: February 01, 2015

maharastra gm crops

Maharashtra approved field trials for GM food

Maharashtra Government granted NOC (No Objection Certificates) for open field trials of genetically modified (GM) lines of rice, chana (chickpeas), maize, brinjal and cotton. However  Punjab, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh gave prior  permission of these trials.

The NOC was given to the GM crops was given on the basis of the recommendations of a state-level committee, headed by Anil Kakodkar.

GM Crops- 

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. Currently available GM foods stem mostly from plants, but in the future foods derived from GM microorganisms or GM animals are likely to be introduced on the market. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to improve yield, through the introduction of resistance to plant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides.

In the future, genetic modification could be aimed at altering the nutrient content of food, reducing its allergenic potential, or improving the efficiency of food production systems. All GM foods should be assessed before being allowed on the market.



prepare ias

Main issues of concern for human health with GM Crops-

While theoretical discussions have covered a broad range of aspects, the three main issues of human health are the potentials to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer and outcrossing. 

Allergenicity- In Princple, the transfer of genes from commonly allergenic organisms to non-allergic organisms is discouraged unless it can be demonstrated that the protein product of the transferred gene is not allergenic. While foods developed using traditional breeding methods are not generally tested for allergenicity, protocols for the testing of GM foods have been evaluated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.

Gene transfer- Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used as markers when creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of gene transfer technology that does not involve antibiotic resistance genes is encouraged.

Outcrossing- The migration of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. Cases have been reported where GM crops approved for animal feed or industrial use were detected at low levels in the products intended for human consumption. Several countries have adopted strategies to reduce mixing, including a clear separation of the fields within which GM crops and conventional crops are grown.