Expert committee suggests 10-year moratorium on GM food crop field trials

The 5-member, Technical Expert Committee appointed on the directions of Supreme Court, has recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials of all Genetically Modified (GM) food crops.

The panel, in its interim report, suggested that the field trials should not be done till an independent committee of experts and stakeholders examines and assesses the potential hazard of herbicide tolerant crops and their suitability to India.

What is the concern of environmentalists?

  • The environmentalists are concerned about the potential damage GM crops can cause to human health, to livestock and to biodiversity and the likelihood of field trials to contaminate regular crops.

Month:  Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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Rs 4,000 crore plan to fight Japanese Encephalitis

The Union Cabinet of India sanctioned a Rs 4038-crore comprehensive multi-pronged plan for prevention and control of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the country.

States where this plan will be implemented:

  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Bihar
  • Assam

The plan will be implemented within five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17.

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

  • Japanese Encephalitis is a viral disease spread by the mosquito carrying the virus.
  • The disease is mainly prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Far East.

What are the reservoirs and vectors of this virus?

  • Domestic pigs and wild birds (herons) are reservoirs of the virus.
  • Amongst the most important vectors of this disease are the mosquitoes Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui.

Month:  Categories: Governance & Politics

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