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Biotechnology Will Dominate The 21st Century

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Shri Namo Narayan Meena said biotechnology would dominate the 21st century just as information technology dominated the last century.

Addressing the 10th meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, last night, he informed the meeting that the stay on Genetic Engineering Approval Committee has been vacated today during judicial hearing. The entire research activities of the country that was at a standstill will get momentum and Genetic Engineering Approval Committee will be able to work speedily. Shri Meena assured along with treating this field as a priority area with investments, priority would be given to proper risk assessment and appropriate measures to mitigate its adverse impacts.

Before the presentation on living modified organisms- LMOs and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), he said in bio-pharma and bio-seeds industries, the turnover has already crossed a billion mark and the growth rate is estimated as 40 per cent. Referring to the approval of transgenic crop Bt cotton and 20 recombinant therapeutic products in India, he said 62 hybrids of cotton have been approved for commercial cultivation across 9 cotton-growing states viz; Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu after reviewing the performance and other criteria.

The area under cotton cultivation has increased from 72,000 acres in 2002 to 93 lakh acres in 2006. Overall production has gone up to 24.4 million bales in 2005-06 as compared to 15.8 million bales in 2001-02. The productivity has increased from 308 kg. Per hectare to 450 kg. Per hectare during the same period. The Minister of State added the pesticide usage has also come down by 2260 MT during 2005-06. Though there has been overall acceptance of the Bt technology by cotton growing farmers, the issues and concerns raised are being examined by the Regulato
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