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GMO-FREE REGIONS & REGULATION: Karnataka (Inida) rules out GM crop trials, warns of action against ag-biotech companies





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TITLE:   KARNATAKA RULES OUT GM CROP TRIALS, WARNS OF ACTION AGAINST MNCS, OTHERS

SOURCE:  Food & Beverage News, India (FBN)

AUTHOR:  Nandita Vijay

URL:     http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=30263&sectionid=1

DATE:    22.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Karnataka government has strongly ruled out the possibility of permission to carry out clinical trials on genetically-modified crops. ?Action would be taken against those who are engaged in the conduct of trials on GM crops in Bijapur and other districts without the permission of the government,? state agriculture minister Umesh Katti, stated on the sidelines of a meet for bankers and officials of the agriculture department, FnB News learnt on Thursday. He was firm that the department had not given permission to undertake trials to any multinational or local companies."

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KARNATAKA RULES OUT GM CROP TRIALS, WARNS OF ACTION AGAINST MNCS, OTHERS

Karnataka government has strongly ruled out the possibility of permission to carry out clinical trials on genetically-modified (GM) crops.

?Action would be taken against those who are engaged in the conduct of trials on GM crops in Bijapur and other districts without the permission of the government,? state agriculture minister Umesh Katti, stated on the sidelines of a meet for bankers and officials of the agriculture department, FnB News learnt on Thursday.

He was firm that the department had not given permission to undertake trials to any multinational or local companies.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has been opposing testing GM crops. ?There are serious allegations meted out at multinational crop major Monsanto which carried out studies on biotech maize in Bijapur,? the minister pointed out.

So far, there has been permission sought by private companies engaged in the research and development of GM crops.

?At a meeting convened here by the state agriculture department on the issuance of a no-objection certificate (NOC) to undertake trials and research on biosafety evaluation on genetically modified (GM) crops,? the same has now been deferred, he said.

Referring to the loan disbursement, he said that according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, banks and cooperative societies would be lending Rs 26,000 crore in 2011-12 to the farming sector in Karnataka.

During the period 2010-2011, the banks disbursed Rs 18,000 crore for the agricultural sector in Karnataka. Providing details on the Suvarna Bhoomi scheme, Katti said that 50 per cent of the farmers who had applied under the scheme have been selected for the financial incentive of Rs 10,000 this year. Remaining farmers would be given the cash incentive in 2012-13. A total of 21 lakh farmers had applied under the scheme.

There were 76 lakh farmer families in the state and of them 75 per cent were small and marginal farmers. As many as 8.82 lakh and 4.39 lakh farmers belonged to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe categories respectively.

The agriculture department had received 21.05 lakh applications and out of which 9.38 lakh farmers have been selected through the lottery system. A total of 1.85 lakh farmers belonging to scheduled caste and 1.03 lakh farmers belonging to scheduled tribes have been selected, according to officials in the agriculture department.