Union Environment Minister M Veerappa Moily today said permission for gene modification field trials for certain food crops had been given after taking expert opinion, and number of conditions have been put in place to take care of environmental concerns.
".....this permission (for gene modification field trials for certain food crops) has not been given by me, they have been given by experts. After expert opinion, permission has been given and nothing will be done to harm the fields," he told reporters.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event here, Moily in response to a question regarding criticisms being expressed on his decision to permit field trials, told reporters, "...number of conditions has been put so it will not harm the atmosphere and also the environment."
Moily had last week cleared a Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) decision to allow gene modification field trials for certain food crops after the same was put on hold for about a year by his predecessor, Jayanthi Natarajan.
This nod will pave the way for GM field trials for rice, wheat, maize and cotton.
Several activists including environmental watchdog Greenpeace and Aam Admi Party have slammed Moily's decision on permitting field trial.
Moily, who is also Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas, today laid foundation stone for Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) - fire safety engineering and process safety research centre at Kambalipura, near Hoskote taluk of Bangalore rural district.