GM mustard unlikely to get approval this rabi season

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 06, 2016

Saying no: A file photo of farmers, consumers and students protestingagainst genetically modified mustard, in Hyderabad   -  The Hindu

GM mustard, which received a nod from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, and was open for public consultation till Wednesday, is unlikely to be approved during the ongoing season, Anil M Dave, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, said on Thursday.

The Minister said a large volume of inputs had been received and is yet to be analysed. The process is likely to take some time and a final nod for commercialisation is unlikely during the ongoing sowing season, he said.

The crop is facing opposition from organic food proponents. Environmental activist Aruna Rodrigues has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a moratorium on release of the crop without adequate and comprehensive bio-safety data, including feeding studies, which she said had not been conducted.

GM mustard is facing an opposition from multiple quarters, including from within its fold, from the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch.

One of the crucial points of contention is has remained that the Ministry has not released the bio-safety dossier into the public domain despite orders from the Central Information Commission.

“A total of 759 comments were received from various stakeholders on the Assessment of Food and Environmental Safety report on environmental release of Genetically Engineered Mustard, during the consultation period (till 5.30 PM on October 5). All the comments received by the GEAC Secretariat have been sent to the Sub-Committee for further examination. After evaluating all the comments, the Sub-Committee has been requested to submit their report to GEAC,” a statement from the Ministry said.

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Published on October 06, 2016
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