No field trial of GM crops without states nod

New Delhi: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said all field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops will be stopped if chief ministers ask the Ministry to stop such experiments in their states.

Ramesh was reacting to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s reported opposition to field trials of GM crop Bt maize in his state.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), under the Environment Ministry, had allowed US-based firm Monsanto to conduct field trials of Bt maize in Bihar.

Ramesh said no field trial would be allowed without the written permission of the state government and that he had given direction to the GEAC in this regard.

When asked about the Ministry`s approval to Rubber Board to conduct field trials on GM rubber in Kerala, which was opposed by state Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran, Ramesh said Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan did not ask him to stop it.

The minister said there were differences within Kerala`s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) on this issue and that prevented the Chief Minister from asking him to stop the experiment in the state.