NEW DELHI: Surprised over go ahead given to GM Mustard by an environment ministry committee, Renuka Chowdhury, heading a parliamentary standing committee, has asked the Centre to hold final nod to the first GM food crop in the country as the committee is already reviewing environmental impacts of transgenic crops.
Congress leader Chowdhury, who heads Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, has written a letter to Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave saying the parliamentary committee is still looking into impact of transgenic crops. Dave has to accord final nod for commercialisation of GM Mustard.
The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of environment ministry Thursday recommended commercialisation of the mustard hybrid, DMH-11 was developed by Delhi University former Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental led Centre for Genetic Manipulation and Crop Plants (CGMCP).
“I was surprised hearing that it has been approved by the committee. I have written to environment minister to hold the final decision as the parliamentary standing committee is still looking into it and people are giving their statements,” Chowdhury told the Express.
The standing committee in October 2016 decided to look into the safety issues related to GM crops.
The commercial release of GM Mustard has been objected by several civil society groups, farmers organization, including Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Bt cotton, a non food crop, is the only transgenic crop cultivated in the country.
The application was submitted to GEAC in 2015 and a sub-committee was constituted in February 2016 to look into safety issues concerning transgenic mustard. The committee’s report was put in public domain for suggestions.
In 2010, a moratorium was put on commercial release of Bt Brinjal by the then environment minister Jairam Ramesh following several concerns raised by farmers, scientists and civil society groups.