India to ratify supplementary protocol on biosafety

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) The cabinet Wednesday approved ratifying the Nagoyaa-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol that provides procedures on liability and redressal of damage to biodiversity resulting from living modified organisms (LMOs).

The protocol supplements the Cartagena protocol on biosafety and will help promote innovation in agricultural and healthcare research.

“The supplementary protocol would promote sound application of biotechnology making it possible to accrue benefits arising from modern biotechnology while minimizing the risk to the environment and human health,” said an official release after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It said the protocol reconciles trade and environment protection.

“It will promote innovation in agricultural and healthcare research and development that is safe for the environment and human beings,” the release said.

The supplementary protocol focuses, mainly, on administrative procedures and measures that need to be taken in the event of damage by LMOs that adversely affect sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

Officials said that a Living Modified Organism (LMO) is defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety as any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.

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