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GM crops in India at various stages of regulatory field evaluations as of 2012

                                (8 traits; 17 crops; 32 institutions)

Traits

 

Crops, Year(s) of approval and Product developers*

(*see the names of the product developers below by looking at the nos. in parenthesis)

Insect resistance

 

Brinjal/Eggplant – 2006, 2007 to 2010 (4,9,14,21,23,28,30);

Cabbage – 2006, 2009  (12,14); Castor – 2006, 2011 (19);

Cauliflower – 2006, 2008 (12,14) ; Chickpea – 2009 (25);

Corn /Maize – 2006, 2010 (10,15); Cotton – 2008 to 2012 (3,5,7,8,11,16);

Okra – 2006,2007(9); Rice- 2006, 2007 to 2011 (3,6,9,11,21,28);

Sorghum – 2009,2011 (20); Sugarcane – 2010 (27);

Tomato – 2006,2010 (9,23)

Virus resistance

 

Groundnut – 2006, 2009-2010 (24); Papaya – 2010 (22);

Potato – 2006, 2009 (17); Tomato – 2006,2010 (21,22);

Watermelon – 2010 (22)

Herbicide tolerance Corn/Maize – 2012 (10); Cotton – 2010, 2012 (3, 9)
Herbicide tole. &

Insect resis. stacked

Corn/Maize – 2008 to 2011 (10,13,15) ;

Cotton – 2008-2009, 2011-2012 (3,9,10,13,15) ; Rice – 2010 (3)

Drought tolerance Chickpea – 2009 (24); Groundnut – 2009 to 2012 (24);

Mustard – 2010 (25); Rice – 2011 (32); Sorghum – 2010 (18)

Yield enhancement Rice – 2011 (2)
Delayed ripening Tomato – 2006,2008,2010 (1,21,25)
Male sterile, female inbred lines Mustard – 2010-2011 (31) ; Rice – 2010-2011 (6)
Compiled by: Manjunath,T.M. (2012); Data source: http://igmoris.nic.in/field_trials.asp(refer to this website for details on genes/events).


Product developers:
Private companies: 
1. Avesthagen Ltd., 2. BASF India Ltd., 3. Bayer Bioscience Pvt Ltd., 4. Bejo Sheetal Seeds, 5. Dow Agrosciences India Pvt Ltd., 6. E. I. Dupont India Pvt. Ltd., 7. J. K. Agri Genetics, 8. Krishidhan Seeds, 9. Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Co. Ltd. (MAHYCO), 10. Monsanto India Ltd., 11. Metahelix Life Sciences Pvt Ltd., 12. Nunhems India Pvt Ltd., 13. Pioneer Overseas Corporation, 14. Sungro Seeds Pvt Ltd., 15. Syngenta Biosciences Pvt Ltd.,
Public Institutions: 
16. Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur; 17. Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla; 18. Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad; 19. Directorate of Oil Seeds Research, Hyderabad;  20. Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad; 21. Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi;  22. Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru; 23. Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi;  24. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad; 25. National Research Center for Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi; 26. Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam; 27. Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore/Lucknow; 28. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; 29. University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore; 30. University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad; 31. University of Delhi – South Campus, New Delhi; 32. University of Calcutta, Kolkata, 

Products in pipeline:

Of the 17 crops listed in the table, only brinjal or eggplant (Solanum melongena) incorporated with the lepidopteron specific Btgene, cry1Ac, for controlling the Fruit-and-Shoot Borer, Leucinodus orbonalis,  has undergone all the biosafety and agronomic tests between 2000 and 2008 as originally prescribed by the regulatory committees. The Bt gene was introduced into brinjal hybrids by Mahyco and into local varieties by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and University of Agricultural Sciences (Dharwad) and these were recommended by GEAC as safe and beneficial for commercial approval in 2009.  However, the then Minister of Environment & Forests, after the controversial public consultations and apparently under tremendous pressure from certain activist groups, announced a moratorium in February 2010, saying it has to undergo some more safety tests without specifying them. As of now, the moratorium is still in force. Thus, Bt-brinjal is foremost among the crops awaiting final approval. While Bt-rice and Bt-okra, both developed by Mahyco, have undergone Multi-Location Research Trials (MLRT), all other crops with various traits are in the first or second year of Biosafety Research Level-1(BRL-1). The biosafety data of approved genes/events as well as of new genes/events under regulatory evaluation are available at: http://igmoris.nic.in/major_developments.aspThese are the products in pipeline, but considering the prevailing regulatory uncertainty in the country, it is difficult to forecast when these will be approved.

Dr. T. M. Manjunath
Consultant in Agri-biotechnology & Integrated Pest Management
“SUMA”, #174, G – Block, 9th Cross,
Sahakaranagar
Bengaluru 560092,
India

Email: Manjunathtm (at) gmail.com

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