There is a legitimate public concern about the handling and use of Genetically Modified Organisms based products in environment. In order to contain possible hazards to environment from the release of such life forms/products, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has brought out Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Export, Import and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cell, 1989 (enforced since 1993).
As per Rule 4 (4) of the above rules, MoEF has setup Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) with the following Terms of Reference :
(i) the approval of activities involving large-scale use of hazardous micro-organisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle; and
(ii) the approval of proposals relating to the release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment, including experimental field trials.
GEAC is headed by Additional Secretary, In-charge of HSM Division and is Co-chaired by a subject matter expert nominated by the Department of Biotechnology. (Presently, Dr Sushil Kumar, Director, CIMAP, Lucknow is the Co-chairman).
During the 21st meeting of GEFC, following proposals were cleared :
List of Proposals Cleared by GEAC