Activists warn against genetically modified mustard

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) A group of activists here on Wednesday warned the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) against making any attempts to approve commercialisation of GM (genetically modified) mustard, a statement said.

Releasing a briefing paper on Delhi University’s GM mustard, the ‘GM Free Coalition’ reminded the GEAC of the uproar that was created when Bt Brinjal, the first GM food crop, was approved by it.

The GEAC is the nodal agency for commercialisation approval and any environmental releases of genetically modified organisms in the country.

“The GM mustard developers are hoodwinking the nation with claims on yield increase whereas there is no yield improvement compared with the same hybrid produced through non-GM process,” Rajesh Krishnan, convenor of the coalition, said.

The GEAC should not forget the flood of concerns that rocked the entire country when the Bt Brinjal was approved by the regulator and later had to be put under an indefinite moratorium by the government during 2009-10, he added.

GM mustard is the first genetically engineered food crop being considered for commercial approval by the GEAC since the Bt Brinjal fiasco.

Krishnan said Delhi University’s GM mustard is essentially a backdoor entry for herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops into India, in the guise of a public sector GM crop.

“Rejection of herbicide tolerant crops is a recommendation made repeatedly by many Committees over the years, given the health, environmental and enormous socio-economic impact that this will leave on rural employment.”

The GM mustard in question, named DMH 11 (Dhara Mustard Hybrid 11), has been developed by the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants, University of Delhi, with support from Department of Biotechnology and National Dairy Development Board.

It has reportedly completed biosafety assessments and could be brought up for commercialisation approval.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here