NEW DELHI: As the one-month deadline for public consultation on GM Mustard ends Wednesday, RSS backed Swadeshi Jagran Manch Tuesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention saying undue haste is being shown by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in giving permission GM Mustard which promises increase yield based on manipulated data.
Several other social activists and farmer organizations have written to the government against the commercial release of GM Mustard developed by Delhi University former Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental led Centre for Genetic Manipulation and Crop Plants (CGMCP).
The organization has written a letter to PM. This comes after an MOEF sub-committee in its report last month has said that GM Mustard is safe for consumption and the ministry has put the report in public domain for feedback for only 30 days.
“Truth is being shielded and the government is being misguided about the safety, yield, and IPR (due to patented genes). We take this opportunity to request you to intervene in the matter and ensure that no permission is given to GM mustard,” said Ashwani Mahajan, All India Co-convenor, Swadeshi Jagran Manch.
The Manch alleged that vested interest groups and people at high levels are trying to project their falsehoods due to the menace of conflict of interest, a phenomenon which should be avoided for regulatory mechanism also with regard to the regulation of GM crops, as suggested by Technical Expert Committee of Supreme Court.
“By hurrying up the process of approval for GM mustard, all decency, transparency, scientific rigor, and previous practices have been kept at bay, for no reason. Needless to mention that by practicing this hash bash, the scientific community has been denied to study and scrutinize the scientific data to understand the effects of GM mustard on health, environment, and biodiversity,” the letter said.
Emphasizing that no long term or feeding tests have been conducted to ascertain the effect of GM mustard on human and animal health, the organization said that GM crops are injurious to honey bees, as has been proved the world over.
It also challenged the claims that GM Mustard is Swadeshi, saying in 2002, Proagro Seed Company (Bayer subsidiary), applied for commercial approval for a similar construct that Pental and his team are now promoting as HT Mustard DMH 11.