State officials brief Centre on herbicide-tolerant variety
Telangana government has requested the Centre to formulate protocols and guidelines at the earliest to take steps to check the spread of herbicide tolerant variety cotton seed, popularly known as BG-III, which is not cleared by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), and is harming the biodiversity in the country.
A detailed presentation was made on the unauthorised spread of the unapproved cotton variety by Director of Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority K. Keshavulu here on Friday before the visiting team of Field-level Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC) appointed by the Centre on the issue of BG-III. He also explained the initiatives taken by the State government in bringing the issue to the Centre’s notice constantly. The high-level team comprising officials from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University visited Jogulamba-Gadwal and Vikarabad districts on Thursday and Mancherial district on Friday before meeting the stakeholders, including seed growers, dealers, national and State seed associations at a meeting here.
Leader of the visiting team, chief scientific officer in DBT, V.S. Reddy, complimented the efforts of Telangana government in highlighting the issue at national-level. The team arrived in Telangana after studying the issue in Gujarat and would be in Andhra Pradesh for the next two days.
Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi said all the stakeholders are in total confusion on the issue of BG-III in the absence of any guidelines from the Centre since the seed was unapproved.