Agri Business

GEAC must take a hard re-look at release of GM mustard, say activists

New Delhi | Updated on May 14, 2018

A body of activists against genetically modified (GM) crops today asked the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee) to take the review of environmental release of GM mustard, assigned to it by the government, scientifically and with utmost “seriousness”.

In a letter to the Committee, the Coalition for a GM-Free India claimed that the GEAC went about “re-examination” of its decision for commercial release of GM mustard in a “non-serious way”.

Last year, the GEAC — under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change — had recommend the commercial use of genetically modified mustard in a submission to the Ministry. However, amid protests, the government referred the issue back to the GEAC.

Field demonstration

In the letter, after the minutes of the 134th meeting of GEAC was uploaded yesterday, the Coalition said, “GEAC decided that the ‘applicant may be advised to undertake field demonstration on GM mustard’ infive acres at two-three different locations to generate additional data on honey bees and other pollinators and honey, and on soil microbial diversity.” .

“In fact, the government and GEAC have committed to the nation that there would be a review, and now GEAC is obligated to begin by first stating what its scientific review plan,,” it said.

The Coalition, which also addressed the letters to Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury, said that

just asking the applicant to undertake a field demonstration for data generation on three parameters “is inadequate and objectionable.”

Published on May 14, 2018

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