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7-Business: GM crops and animals high on U.S.-Indian agriculture pact



                                 PART I
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TITLE:  GM crops, animals high on agri pact
SOURCE: The Financial Express, India
        http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=11930
DATE:   02 Mar 2006

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GM crops, animals high on agri pact	 	

NEW DELHI, MARCH 2:  Training and research in application of transgenic
technology in crops and animals and trade in agro-commodities treated by
irradiation are among the priority features of the India-US agreement in
farm sector signed on Thursday.

Irradiated Indian mangoes will know find its way into US market without
much hassles. After the agreement was signed, President Bush remarked
that he love to taste Indian mangoes. The regulatory process relating to
sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures will hopefully be initiated
within a year. USDA has recognised with effect from February 16, 2006
Organic Food Certification System launched as the instance of
Agriculture and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA).

As per agreement transgenic crops with "resistance to economically
important viruses, tolerance to drought, heat and salinity and micro-
nutrient utilisation efficiency" will be developed. Molecular breeding
and genomics in crops and animals, molecular approaches in plants and
animal health protection will also be taken up.

Also the agreement envisages revamping of Indian agriculture education,
exchange programme for scientists, research, training and capacity
building in food processing and marketing and water management.

The agreement called India-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture
Education, Research, Services and Commercial Linkages includes
scholarships, exchange programmes, training and collaboration of
scientists will be supported by financial commitments by both the
governments for a period of three years.

According to a draft prepared by the Indian side before the signing of
the agreement suggests a total investment of Rs 1,000 crore for the
period 2006-12.

According to sources, the details of the collaboration was prepared by
the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and treated as
confidential official document. Even the noted agri scientist and
chairman of National Commission on Farmers, Dr MS Swaminathan was not
taken into confidence.

Forty premier agri research institute which have US linkages have been
identified for the programme.


                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  India-US Joint Statement
SOURCE: Prime Minister of India, Press Release
        http://pmindia.nic.in/prelease/pcontent.asp?id=409
DATE:   02 Mar 2006

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India-US Joint Statement

President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today
expressed satisfaction with the great progress the United States and
India have made in advancing our strategic partnership to meet the
global challenges of the 21st century. Both our countries are linked by
a deep commitment to freedom and democracy; a celebration of national
diversity, human creativity and innovation; a quest to expand prosperity
and economic opportunity worldwide; and a desire to increase mutual
security against the common threats posed by intolerance, terrorism, and
the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The successful transformation
of the U.S.-India relationship will have a decisive and positive
influence on the future international system as it evolves in this new
century.

Reviewing the progress made in deepening the global partnership between
the United States and India since their Joint Statement of July 18,
2005, the President and the Prime Minister reaffirm their commitment to
expand even further the growing ties between their two countries.
Consistent with this objective, the two leaders wish to highlight
efforts the United States and India are making together in the following
areas, where they have:

[...]

(2) Sought to expand cooperation in agriculture by:

1. Launching the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture with a three-year
financial commitment to link our universities, technical institutions,
and businesses to support agriculture education, joint research, and
capacity building projects including in the area of biotechnology.

2. Endorsing an agreed workplan to promote bilateral trade in
agriculture through agreements that: lay out a path to open the U.S.
market to Indian mangoes, recognize India as having the authority to
certify that shipments of Indian products to the United States meet USDA
organic standards, and provide for discussions on current regulations
affecting trade in fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry and dairy, and
almonds.


                                 PART III
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TITLE:  GMOs may come under FTP ambit
SOURCE: Press Trust India / Economic Times, India
        http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1409447.cm
DATE:   10 Feb 2006

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GMOs may come under FTP ambit

NEW DELHI: The Government is proposing to bring out comprehensive norms
for exports and import of Genetically Modified Organisms.  The Commerce
Ministry is planning to bring trade of GMO items under the ambit of
country's Foreign Trade Policy and has initiated the process of
consultation with the ministries concerned in this regard, official
sources told the media.  The move is aimed at bringing about more
clarity in the norms governing the trade of GMOs in face of Government
allowing commercialisation of transgenics.  The need for such a clear
cut policy has been felt in the backdrop of some countries coming out
with very clear and strong policies that favour or reject trade of GM
items. Infact, the World Trade Organisation ruled against the European
Union on February 7 in a US-led dispute over import restrictions on
genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  A WTO dispute settlement panel
backed the complaint by the United States, as well as Argentina and
Canada, against an EU-wide moratorium and bans by individual European
governments which the three said were unfair, reports said.  After years
of trials in 2002 India allowed commercial production of transgenic
cotton hybrids thus opening the country's doors to GMO technology.
Infact, field trials have begun for genetically modified versions of
several crops including mustard, rice, potato and cauliflower.


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