Stop attempts by Centre to carry out open-air release of GMOs, CM urged
The CGMFI also said notified field trial sites (NFTS) greatly compromise Tamil Nadu’s capacity to decide on what should be planted on Tamil Nadu’s agricultural soil.
CHENNAI: The Coalition for GM-Free India (CGMFI), an informal network of organisations and individuals comprising farmers, consumers and environmental activists has urged Chief Minister MK Stalin to strongly oppose and halt any attempt of the union government to carry out open-air release of genetically modified organisations (GMOs).
The CGMFI submitted a representation in this regard to the office of the chief minister in June and later, representatives of the organisation also called on Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam and Agriculture Secretary C Samayamoorthy and explained the seriousness of this issue. However, the CGMFI is yet to get any response from them.
Office-bearers of CGMFI charged that the union government is trying to bypass the state governments and even change the name of trials to avoid ‘No objection certificates’ from the states though agriculture is a state subject. They said ‘Open air releases’ of GM crops are known by many names in India.
The Tamil Nadu government should take a policy decision against the open-air release of GM crops for both genetically modified organisms and genome-edited organisms.
The CGMFI also said notified field trial sites (NFTS) greatly compromise Tamil Nadu’s capacity to decide on what should be planted on Tamil Nadu’s agricultural soil. The Tamil Nadu government should reject any proposals for NFTS in the state to maintain autonomy on the subject of agriculture.
“The Centre is trying a new tactic by introducing NFTS. Since states are not allowing field trials to take place, some sites have been shortlisted by ICAR and labelled as notified field trial sites (NFTS). In these sites, trials are being proposed without the need for consulting state governments. Hence, Tamil Nadu should reject proposals for NFTS sites. There should be no compromise on NOC system, whether it is for event selection trials or confined field trials or seed production trials even if these are in ICAR- designated notified field trial sites,” the CGMFI said.