Kerala's recent decision that no genetically modified (gm) crop will be grown in the state has been hailed by
environmental and farmers' organisations across the state.
Kerala agriculture minister Mullakara Rathnakaran announced this, saying that farmer suicides like those in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh should not happen in Kerala. "Kerala is rich in agro-biodiversity and the government sees it as its top priority to protect it," said Rathnakaran.
The announcement came in response to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee's approval of field trials of six hybrids of Bt rice in the state's Palakkad region. Kerala had earlier withheld its permission to Mahyco to conduct gm field trails in the state. Even the Supreme Court stopped approvals for field trials in September 2006.
Organisations like Thanal, Desiya Karshaka Samithi and Ecological Protection Forum Palakkad have welcomed the decision.
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