Updated on 29 October 2012
One of the points raised by scientists at the forum was the effect of the recommended ban on Indian farmers
Bangalore: Eminent biotechnologists, agricultural scientists and heads of agribiotech industry came together on Saturday to discuss the recommendations of an technical expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India to address certain issues related to agricultural biotechnology.
The experts termed the interim report as biased and said, if implemented, the suggested moratorium on GM trial will harm Indian farmers and the society at large.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear the case on October 29 where the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), a not-for-profit national forum representing the Indian biotechnology industry, will make its point before the court.
The Supreme Court constituted a technical expert committee and fixed seven terms of reference to examine and submit a report within three months from May 12, 2012. In case the TEC was unable to submit a final report within three months the court asked it to submit an interim report on "whether there should/should not be any ban, partial or otherwise, upon conducting open field tests of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs)". In the event open field trials are permitted, the court sought to know from the committee "what protocol should be followed and conditions, if any, that may be imposed by it for implementation of open field trials".
The committee comprising Dr P S Chuhan, Prof P C Kesavan, Prof P S Ramakrishnan, Dr Imran Siddiqi and Dr B Sivakumar submitted an interim report with a view that all field trials should be stopped until conditions have been followed during the trial period, outsourcing/subcontracting of field trials be banned, representation on regulatory bodies be expanded, besides other recommendations.