CHENNAI: Activists have urged the State government to write to the Centre protesting against the commercial launch of the new Genetically Modified (GM) mustard.
Speaking in the city on Saturday, they said the government was fooling people into believing that commercial cultivation of GM mustard was beneficial.
“There are five other varieties of mustard in India that already have a higher yield than the proposed crop. So this crop is not going to be beneficial to farmers,” said Devinder Sharma, a food and trade policy analyst, adding that the country was fully self-reliant on oil seeds until the import duty was reduced. “The seed would qualify only as junk seed and most benefits claimed by the Centre would account for scientific fraud.”
Commenting on the lack of economic benefits, Paamayan, a farmer and head of Thaalanmai Uzhavar Iyakkam said the procurement of these seeds end up in the hands of just a few commercial bodies and that the small farmers are left out. While the activists ruled out the possibility of economic benefits from GM mustard, they added that the introduction of these crops may have health related drawbacks.