THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution against the Union Government’s move to permit the production and cultivation of GM mustard, stating it would endanger the farming sector and the environment.
The resolution introduced by Agriculture Minister V S Sunilkumar urged the Centre to withdraw the decision. “The Union Ministry of Environment and the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) have given approval for the cultivation and production of GM mustard. The Centre should not implement it,” he said in the resolution.
The minister said it would destroy seeds and farmers would have to depend on multinationals for cultivation. “Moreover, it will only increase the expenses which the farmers cannot afford,” said the resolution.
The resolution also pointed out most of the states were opposed to genetically modified crops. He said it had not been proven if the yield of GM crops was more. The minister also alleged the altered seeds were known to attract new insects leading to the use of powerful insecticides. “This will have an adverse impact on the environment,” he said.
Sunilkumar also said the introduction of new seeds would destroy the concept of organic farming. He alleged groups with vested interests, under the guise of achieving self-sufficiency in edible oil, were trying to get sanction for GM mustard.
Genetic trials are going on for 75 crops and these groups will seek approval for each variety after getting the green signal for mustard, said the minister. In the resolution, Sunilkumar also mentioned the Centre had withdrawn permission for GM brinjal earlier.