Thursday, February 4, 2016

NEWS : JD(U) writes to PM Modi against GM mustard crop

Party general secretary K C Tyagi urged the prime minister "not to give consent" to introduction of genetically modified mustard crops

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi February 4, 2016 Last Updated at 19:57 IST
The chorus of protest against GM mustard today grew louder, with JD(U) today writing to Prime MinisterNarendra Modi seeking cancellation of tomorrow's meeting of Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee called to decide the fate of GM crops.

Holding that all mustard producing states are opposing this move of the government, party general secretary K C Tyagi reminded Modi that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already written to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar urging him to make consulting the states and obtaining their consent mandatory for any kind of field trial.

Talking to PTI, Tyagi said his party would like to take all-like minded parties on board on the issue and could also raise it in the upcoming Budget Session, if the government did not pay head to the demands for dropping the idea.

Tyagi urged the prime minister "not to give consent" to introduction of genetically modified mustard crops and cancel the "pre-scheduled secret meeting" on the issue.

Claiming that "strong and collective voices against this secret meeting and the proposal to introduce GM cropsare being raised all over the nation", Tyagi said even developed countries like the US and China have avoided GM crops.

Maintaining that proposed introduction of GM mustard has created an "environment of fear" among farmers, Tyagi said, "More than 50 farmers organisations across the country have slammed the government's proposed move to introduce the banned GM crops.

"The Supreme Court has also demanded an explanation from the central government regarding the same. So as a people's representative, I would urge you to cancel the GEAC meeting."

JD(U) has raised the issue a day after RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch warned against grant of permission for commercial production of GM mustard.

Around 50 farmers unions including RSS-affliate Bharatiya Kisan Sangh yesterday expressed concern over the "secretive" process adopted by the government.

Tyagi also referred to objections raised a few days ago by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who had written a similar letter to the prime minister noting that approving commercial cultivation of GM mustard crops would "threaten" agriculture, farmers, health and environment.

In the letter, Sisodia had claimed scientists were conducting trials in this regard at Delhi University without Delhi government's 'no objection certificate', which he termed as "illegal", and asserted that Centre should have engaged the states in a dialogue on the issue.

Noting that Sisodia conveyed the Delhi government's opinion about the GM mustard, Tyagi said,"Not only this but organisations even from the BJP-ruled states have expressed their concern about the secretive processes adopted by the regulators.

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