Activists ‘GM-Free India’ claim regulatory flaws in approval of GM mustard
The Coalition for a GM-Free India is a group that is fighting a case in the Supreme Court against the trials of genetically modified mustard. On Friday, they released a report in New Delhi that shows at least 15 alleged regulatory lapses in the evaluation and approval of Delhi University’s GM ‘Herbicide Tolerant or HT’ mustard.
The Coalition for GM-Free India is a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are against genetically modified crops. Related Agri News | If govt approves GM mustard, Agri women workers in rural may suffer – SC
The platform said that the Center is trying to trick the Supreme Court by saying that the development of GM mustard didn’t break any rules. The people in charge of the platform said that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) stepped in on behalf of a third-party applicant without a formal letter of approval to make sure that seeds were planted in ‘great haste.’
Using information from the Right to Information (RTI) Act, they said that no health expert had ever taken part in the evaluation of GM mustard. They said that testing GM mustard for safety to the environment goes against the few rules and protocols set up by the country’s regulatory regime.
Their report said that the approval of GM HT mustard showed that the country’s few biosafety rules ‘totally failed’ and that the regulatory system had serious flaws. The report also said, ‘Health and environmental safety have been severely harmed by the approval of GM mustard.’
The Constitutional power of the state governments over agriculture has been violated and sidestepped, and the states have not even been asked for their opinion like they were with Bt brinjal. India, which signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, has also broken international agreements by allowing GM mustard to be grown.
The Supreme Court’s Technical Expert Committee recommended, on the basis of science, that HT crops be banned in India. The Indian government and regulators have clearly ignored and disregarded this recommendation. Related Agri News | GM mustard field trial shows safe for bees & higher crop yield: Minister