Updated on 18 June 2013
Sharing her views, Dr Usha Zehr Barwale, chief technology officer, Mahyco said, "The GEAC certainly is very important for all of us to get clearances for GM crop trials. Therefore, it is a welcome move as there is a lot that is on stake for the agribiotech companies. "
"It is good news and will bring cheer to the industry. The void created by the non functional GEAC will have to be filled and cases that need attention be addressed as soon as possible," said Dr Seetharam Annadana, traits development and vegetable R&D management lead, Syngenta South Asia.
Do GEAC require a makeover?
Dr S R Rao, senior advisor, Department of Biotechnology, feels that this is a routine process of reconstitution and nothing can be read into it. "The committee functioning will remain as it was mentioned earlier," he said. Dr Rao feels that making Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill in itself was a marathon test and agrees that sustainable strategy is very much required for the agribiotech sector.
Many think that the regulatory structure, as well as the GEAC as a body must undergo a quick revamp. "At present, we all know that the regulatory structure is very complex and we have to bear with the same system for the time being. However, I am equally hopeful that the government will put the resolution of the issue on fast track mode. We hope that the pending BRAI bill would soon be tabled in the parliament and the new better regulatory system will replace this existing one," pointed out Dr Seetharama of ABLE-AG.
Echoing similar sentiments, a former member secretary of GEAC and now a prominent member of the industry told BioSpectrum that unless the structure of the regulatory body doesn't undergo change, it will continue to function in the way it used to. He in particular pointed out that GEAC meetings have to be organized more frequently and more seriously. "The body has to be more vocal about its status and importance," he said on condition of anonymity.