New Delhi: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is on a collision course yet again, this time with the Kerala government. The ministry has written to the state government asking it to go ahead with the field trials of genetically modified (GM) rubber in the state. The letter comes after the Kerala government wrote to the MoEF asking it to not allow any field trials of GM rubber.
The Environment Ministry has written back to the state government saying:
- GM rubber was being developed by the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) which is under the Ministry of Commerce and not the state
- Field trials will be done in designated experimental sites and the growth of the plants will be closely monitored
- Development of GM rubber is essential to allow non-traditional rubber states likes Assam and Mizoram
- Total duration of the trials will span fourteen years
Kerala's Agriculture Minister, Mullakkara Retnakaran reacted to the letter saying that the state won't allow field trials of GM rubber.
Last month, the Kerala government had written to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh asking him not to allow field trials of GM rubber. The proposal for the trials for Bt rubber in Kerala was taken by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) in Kottayam.
However, Kerala which has maintained that it will not allow any genetically modified crop - they were the fiercest opposers of Bt Brinjal - say that this is being done to preserve biodiversity in the state.