Agri Business

Centre apathetic towards resolving GM crop stand-off, says BKS

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on July 22, 2020 Published on July 22, 2020

A field planted with illegal HT cotton in Wardha district of Maharashtra

No final decision taken despite tests conducted during the past five years

The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has accused the Centre of apathy towards taking a firm stand on the GM crop stand-off.

Dinesh Kulkarni, All-India Organising Secretary of BKS, told BusinessLine that there is no difference between the Congress-led UPA government and BJP-led NDA government when it comes to curbing illegal trade of HT cotton seeds and blacklisting companies involved in the trade.

“The BKS has repeatedly asked the government to take stringent action against seed players circulating illegal seeds in the market. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) must take action against the unauthorised, illegal HTBT seed players” said Kulkarni.

As per Rules, 1989, the authorities involved in the testing process of GM crops are Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBSCs), Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) and GEAC. Under the Ministry of Environment, the GEAC discharges its responsibilities regarding the environmental release of GM corps based on scientific evidence.

Super weed threat

During the past five years, scientific tests were conducted in rice, sorghum, chickpea, pigeon pea, sunflower, castor, potato, brinjal, and tomato to develop GM crops with traits like insect-pest resistance, virus resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, etc. But no final decision has been taken on the matter.

“The government is not ready to take even one step forward and hence confusion prevails among farmers about the GM crop. There is a need for the socio-economic and environmental impact of GM crop”, said Kulkarni adding that use of herbicides has led to the growth of super weed in countries like the US.

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Published on July 22, 2020
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