On February 28, 2014 in a press meet at New Delhi, the union environment and forest minister, Mr Veerappa Moily approved the March, 2013 decision of the GEAC to allow more than 200 successful gene modification trials for rice, wheat, maize, castor and cotton.
Reacting to the development, ABLE-AG expressed its happiness on the government decision. The long-awaited next meeting of GEAC is now scheduled for March 21, 2014. "We are hopeful that the next GEAC meeting will clear the new applications before the coming Khariff season," said Ram Kaundinya, chairman, ABLE AG while welcoming Moily's announcements.
Dr N Seetharama, executive director ABLE-AG said, "We laud Shri Moily's reaffirmation of his faith in the power of technology. At a time when agriculture is under severe stress and requires immediate infusion of technology and innovation, we can't afford to ignore biotechnology which has a proven track record of enhancing crop yields in a safe and sustainable way the world over".
Kaundinya added, "It is encouraging that the Hon'ble Minister has approved the March 2013 decision of GEAC. This is a progressive step and will clear the path for the unhindered progress of R&D in the vital agriculture sector."
ABLE-AG firmly believes that research and trials in GM technology should not be stopped as additional information from research and trials will help us to assess the technology more accurately. it was very discouraging that the GEAC mechanism had come to a half for the last two years.
"We appreciate the agriculture minister's firm stand on the issue and the Environment Minister's progressive approach towards GM technology. We have been pleading with the Government to allow the field trials. Now we are sure that the March 21 GEAC meeting will provide much awaited relief to the industry and the trials will happen in this Kharif season", added Mr Kaundinya.