NEW DELHI: A group of activists including farmers demanded Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan On Monday to reject the proposal for allowing commercial production of the Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard crop.
“We write to you to urge you to take up meaningful and serious consultation processes on the matter, by having widespread consultations with the public in general and not just a set of handpicked stakeholders. This is also to communicate that we would like to be part of such meaningful consultations,” said Sridhar Radhakrishnan, who is the co-convenor of Coalition for a GM-Free India in a letter to Vardhan.
Coalition for a GM-Free India is an informal network of experts and hundreds of farmers’, consumers’, environmental and women’s organisations campaigning for a GM-free India.
The group also asked the environment minister to, “get state government views and independent experts’ analyses of full biosafety data” before taking a final decision.
The controversy is about GM mustard which crop which has been developed by Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants. On 11th May, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) of the environment ministry recommended approval for commercial production of GM mustard and now it awaits final decision of the environment ministry.
India’s first GM food crop if approved
Right now only GM cotton is allowed in India but if Dr Harsh Vardhan clears the proposal for GM mustard’s production it would become India’s first GM food crop. Previously, in 2010 protests had erupted against GM Brinjal across the country.