Skip to main content

'Unscientific, irresponsible, shocking': NGO on Govt of India approval to GM mustard

By Our Representative 

GM mustard approved by India’s top regulators “will be resisted strongly”, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has warned the Government of India (GoI). Calling the clearance given by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) “unscientific and irresponsible”, the top organic farming advocacy network said, the clearance, was given for the “second time, that too without a single additional basis for decision making.”
The Coalition, in a statement, said, the approval “will be met with serious resistance by citizens all over India”, adding, it is confident and hopeful that “right-thinking state governments will stand on the side of public interest in this matter.”
“What has happened is shocking in its lack of scientificity or responsible regulation. Nothing has changed from 2017 when GEAC gave its approval to GM mustard commercial cultivation, when the regulator gave a green signal but the decision was not cleared by the ‘competent authority’ i.e., Minister/Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change’”, the statement said.
It regretted, “Only two additional tests have been prescribed by GEAC in a perfunctory and irresponsible fashion since then as though the debate about GM mustard was about these two aspects alone. What is worse, the crop developer did not do these studies and pleaded with the regulators against such studies.”
The statement continued, “GM mustard got to this stage in the first instance by the regulatory body colluding with the crop developer in circumventing biosafety assessment in numerous ways”.
It said, "The latest is that GEAC, after conceding to the request of the crop developer applicant who wanted its herbicide tolerant food crop to be released in India, set up a so-called Expert Committee in August 2022. This Expert Committee was headed by a Department of Biotechnology (DBT) scientist, which in itself is an objectionable conflict of interest, given that DBT is the funder of GM mustard.”
Pointing out that “other GM crop developers and proponents were also drawn in”, the statement said, “Ignoring numerous serious concerns around GM mustard, this Expert Committee gave the excuse that GEAC needed to approve GM mustard. This compromises biosafety in serious and objectionable ways.”
Asking the Government of India “not to move forward in allowing this dangerous herbicide tolerant food crop in India”, the Coalition said, in a recent letter to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, it has summed up *the various issues with GM mustard, irresponsible processing of the application by the regulators so far, and the demand that the Government stop GEAC in its tracks.

Comments

TRENDING

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Dadi, poti discuss 'injustice' under 10 yr Modi rule: Video campaign goes viral

By Our Representative  Watan Ki Raah Mein, a civil society campaign of the Samvidhan Bachao Nagrik Abhiyan, has released a short video conversation on social media of an exchange of letters between a dadi and her poti discussing poverty, unemployment, corruption and women’s safety. The letters also raise the question of  suppression of our fundamental rights of speech, expression and justice. 

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

WHO move can 'enable' India to detain citizens, restrict freedom, control media

Counterview Desk  In an an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with copies to concerned Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and MPs,  health rights network  People’s Alliance for Public Health (PAPH alias JanSwasthya Morcha), has urged that India should not be a signatory to the World Health Organization ( WHO) Pandemic Agreement and Amendments to the  International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005  to be adopted at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.