Haryana grants NOC to Mahyco for field trials of BT cotton variety

India has already allowed commercial use of BG-1 and BG-2 GM cotton while the approval for the BG-2 RRF has been pending at various stages. Field trials are likely for North Zone -

June 16, 2022 After a considerable gap, the Haryana government has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to seed major Mahyco to conduct field trials on BG-2 RRF, a herbicide tolerant and insect resistant variety of BT cotton.

The NOC was granted last month for trials to be conducted during the coming kharif harvest season, sources said.

So far, India has allowed commercial use of BG-1 and BG-2 GM cotton in the country while the approval for the BG-2 RRF has been pending at various stages. The field trials are likely for the North Zone.

“Currently, the available BG-2 RRF can provide protection against devastating pest attack such as American Bollworm,” Bhagirath Choudhary, Founder Director of the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC) said.

A few months ago, the Central government had for the first time exempted certain types of genome-edited crops from the stringent regulations applicable on genetically modified or GM crops, paving the way for further R&D on them.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests had, in the order, exempted SDN1 and SDN2 genome edited plants from Rules 7-11 of the Environment Protect Act (EPA) for manufacture, use or import or export and storage of hazardous microorganisms or genetically engineered organisms or cells rules-1989.

In the recent past, many countries have either developed or approved for commercial cultivation of vegetables, fruits, oilseeds and cereals developed through genome editing such as Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA tomato, high oleic canola and soybean, non-browning mushroom etc.

Recently, China too approved guidelines for genome editing that will spur research into crops that have high yields and are resistant to pests and climate change.

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