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Testing the safety of Indian GM crops is not 'cursory'

With reference to your article 'Indian GM research 'lacks focus and transparency', we wish to point out that the Swedish-Indian study referred to in your report is wrong in stating that the monitoring and evaluation by the Department of Biotechnology is "cursory and very narrowly focused".

On the contrary, many more tests than stated in the study were carried out before approval.

In India, safety studies on goats, cows, buffaloes, chicken and fish were done as part of the regulatory process for the approval of Bollgard.

Mahyco had conducted hundreds of field trials in different agro-climatic zones in India and had done extensive nutritional and bio safety studies with genetically modified Bt cotton, under the directives issued by the regulatory authorities and in co-operation with many national institutions.

All the data generated from the trials and studies had been submitted to the Indian Regulatory authorities as required before approval in 2002.