Thursday, February 4, 2016

NEWS : Govt pushing GM food: Left

Our Bureau
Opposes commercialisation of mustard hybrid; court will decide says Javadekar
New Delhi, February 4:   
The Left parties and their affiliated unions have threatened protests against the perceived push the government is giving genetically modified (GM) mustard.

The protests follow reports about a scheduled meeting of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GMAC) on February 5 to decide on the commercialisation of Delhi University’s GM mustard hybrid DMH11.

CPI MP D Raja dashed off a letter to Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar demanding that before the GMAC considers environmental release of this Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), it should share relevant data in the public domain.

Javdekar, on his part, maintained that the matter would be decided by the court.
“The matter is already in the court. The court has given 15 days time to reply. We will reply in due course,” Javdekar told BusinessLine.

The CPI(M)-backed All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) accused the Ministry of Environment of pursuing the commercial release of this particular GMO without carrying out the necessary bio-safety tests. In a statement here, AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said the Ministry, instead of rushing into commercialisation of the GMO, should focus its energy on setting up an effective regulatory mechanism and also a legislation to fix liability of seed monopolies.

According to D Raja, the Ministry is moving in a “hurried and secretive fashion” and is declining to share the bio-safety dossier of GM mustard hybrid DMH11 despite Supreme Court and Central Information Commission orders that require the government to make all such information public.
‘Livelihoods at risk’

“My party has resisted the entry of GMOs into our food and agriculture given that this transgenic technology is unsafe, carries its own political economy of taking away farmers’ seed sovereignty, jeopardises national food security and is risky for farm livelihoods. The move to introduce GM crops into Indian food and farming systems is not in the interest of our agriculture and country,” Raja said in his letter.
Hannan Mollah called all the units of the All India Kisan Sabha to be “vigilant and protest against such moves by the government”.
(This article was published on February 4, 2016)
Printable version | Feb 5, 2016 7:20:54 AM |

SOURCE: © The Hindu Business Line


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