🖊 The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
🖊 As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle
🖊 The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
🖊 GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
🖊Presently, it has 24 members and meets every month to review the applications in the areas indicated above.
🖊 The body regulates the use, manufacture, storage, import and export of hazardous microorganisms or genetically-engineered organisms and cells in India.
🖊 The GEAC is the apex biotech regulatory body in India.
🖊It is a statutory body.
🖊 The approval of the GEAC is mandatory before genetically modified organisms and products derived from them can be used commercially.
What is Genetically modified crops ?
🖊 Genetically modified crops are plants used in agriculture.
🖊 The Plant DNA has been modified using genetic engineering methods.
🖊 Plant genomes can be engineered by physical methods or by use of Agrobacterium for the delivery of sequences hosted in T-DNA binary vectors.
🖊 The Objective of Genetically modified crops is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species.
🖊 GM Crops show resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, reduction of spoilage, resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide), or improving the nutrient profile of the crop.