GM crop safe, but must assess case by case: ICMR to House panel

ICMR has told a parliamentary panel that while genetically modified crops are “generally safe”, the “individual GM foods” should be assessed on a “case by case basis”.

Written by Anand Mishra | New Delhi | Published:May 31, 2017 4:19 am
ICMR, GM crops, MS Swaminathan, House panel, GM food, safe,  Indian express news, India news, Latest news, The ICMR noted that each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies to assess their safety.

AMID THE debate over GM Mustard, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has told a parliamentary panel that while genetically modified crops are “generally safe”, the “individual GM foods” should be assessed on a “case by case basis”, either by the government or an “independent credible third party”.

“The review of available literature indicates that genetically modified crops available in the market that are intended for human consumption are generally safe and their consumption is not associated with serious health problems. However, as different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways, individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case by case basis,” Soumya Swaminathan, ICMR Director General, told the parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests last week.

The ICMR noted that each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies to assess their safety. “Individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed as per national regulatory norms. These assessments should be done by the government or an independent credible third party agency,” Swaminathan told the panel headed by Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury.

In its submission, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told the panel that tests done on animals and studies conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition revealed “nil/ negligible risks”. Addressing concerns regarding the toxicity and allergenicity of GM Mustard, it said the use of leaves, seed and oil derived from transgenic mustard were not likely to pose any risk to humans and animals. The ministry also pointed out that GM food and feed are being consumed in a number of countries since 1996, and there have been no negative reports so far.
In a detailed note on the impact of GM food on animals, the Department of Biotechnology cited studies to show that it has no negative effect and is “as safe as non-GM crops”.

The parliamentary panel has decided to hold further discussions on June 8. Chaudhary, who had earlier asked the government not to take a decision on the issue till the panel formulates its opinion, is set to write to Health Minister J P Nadda, seeking clarifications on the health concerns raised over GM Mustard.

Earlier this month, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), which functions under the Environment Ministry, cleared a genetically-modified variety of mustard for commercial cultivation. When the parliamentary panel called senior officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Department of Biotechnology on May 25, some members questioned the constitution of the GEAC. The GEAC was last reconstituted on March 11, 2013 for a period of three years, after which its tenure was extended.

Many organisations, including RSS affiliates like the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, have opposed clearance to GM Mustard. The only genetically modified crop that is under cultivation in India is Bt Cotton. During the previous UPA government, the then environment minister Jairam Ramesh had refused to grant clearance to Bt Brinjal.

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  1. A
    Anil
    May 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm
    This GMO Mustard is not developed by any MNC , it developed by Indian University which will gets grants from our IT money. MNCs will not get any money from mustard seeds, only our starved farmers will get extra 30 yield, which will benefit them. We people are using this mustard, soya and sunflower oils which were imported and all soya oil is GMO only, did any 1 complained about it? all Indians who ware cloths are made of BT cotton did any 1 complain? Dont believe umptions, think practically.
    Reply
    1. M
      midas
      May 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm
      GMO here and there - dont play god - one wrong cannot correct another wrong - population today is starving becoz of brahmin banas snatching engulfing lands of farmers adivasis , uprooting forests , damaging rivers like brahmin sri sri sri ravibhankar - damaged yamuna floodplains for 10 yrs - , u seem to be dalal of monsters of GMO lobby - i thing u already enjo israeil trip and their honey trap - get lost rascal
      Reply
    2. A
      alok
      May 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm
      RUSSIA has completely banned GMO entry into russia - muslim nations like IRAN YEMEN SYRIA LIBYA - totally banned western agenda of GMO - so they are attacked mercilessly by US/ Iraeil via proxy SAUDI - yemen totally rrejected vaccination so US attacks yemen - India should kik GMO and their agents
      Reply
      1. A
        alok
        May 31, 2017 at 2:24 pm
        minister JAVDEKAR - playing in hands of monsanto berger etc for big profits and destruction of india - by promoting GMO agent orange has caused havoc in VIETNAM lakhs of acres of land is now infertile - thanks to monsanto and US for depopulating by creating starvation famines ,
        Reply
        1. A
          Anil
          May 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm
          Not True
          Reply
          1. M
            midas
            May 31, 2017 at 3:37 pm
            GMO agent b@astard anil - dont play with indians health -
        2. S
          subhash
          May 31, 2017 at 2:22 pm
          GMO - are agenda of de-population of world elites backed by WHO IMF scoundral BILL GATES , MILINDA GATES , - GMO is playing GOD by humans which will result in genetically modified abnormal humans for generations ZIKA virus is one GMO engeneered by GMO giants like monsanto - it is not natural virus - AIDS is another GMO - thats why it could not spread like natural virus
          Reply
          1. E
            Enthiran
            May 31, 2017 at 8:52 am
            To people: Never trust a brahmin. And Soumya Swaminathan is a brahmin. All brahmins work for foreign multinational similar to the pharmaceutical corporations that M A S S MURDERED BABIES USING PENTAVALENT VACCINES AND M A S S MURDERED TRIBAL WOMEN IN ANDRA PRADESH USING HUMAN PAPILOMA VIRUS VACCINE. If Brahmins can sell their women folks why won't they sell indigenous people of South Asia?
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            1. N
              Nagar Iyer
              May 31, 2017 at 9:02 am
              It is not just 'brahmins', Gentleman. MNCs & corporates convert all those 'vulnerable literate humans' into 'greedy traitors' & prepare them mentally to even sell their 'national interests'. M.S. Swaminathan, Nehru, Indira, Rajiv hy, Manmohan, Kurien are all some the traitors who sold 'Indian interests' for their personal benefits. 'Green Revolution', 'White Revolution', 'Allopathy & Pharma drugs', 'GMOs' are some of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the Indians by the MNCs, Corporates of the West in connivance with the corrupt Indians
              Reply
              1. S
                subhash
                May 31, 2017 at 2:18 pm
                kudos Nagar Iyer - u r brilliant i found one real intellectual - who can smell tiny conspiracies - GMO is nothing but causing cancer infertility , soil damage , autoimmune diseases - but foolish indians are on drugs of religion / cow / mandirs / gods / fake nationalism / nepotism / iden y crisis etc
            2. J
              JD
              May 31, 2017 at 8:43 am
              This is biggest SCAM and control of crops which is going to KILL all farmers. STOP all companies and promote local farmers.
              Reply
              1. C
                cbonf
                May 31, 2017 at 7:44 am
                Arrest all those Officials who speak in favor of GMOs. They are the worst traitors of India. Entire India should rise against this collusion of corrupt agricultural scientists, fraudulent Medical experts & vicious corporates who are out to loot the farmers & destroy Indians
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                1. M
                  Manoj Singh architect
                  May 31, 2017 at 9:58 am
                  to undertand this matter please see south indian movie on modified genetic cow milk named jai viru of actor surya avaliable on u tube..... s: www. /watch?v cvG5MGzixLY
                  Reply
                2. N
                  Nagar Iyer
                  May 31, 2017 at 7:39 am
                  Allopathic doctors, Agricultural Scientists are frauds & are agents of big pharma companies & MNC seed companies. GM FOODS ARE TOTALLY POISONOUS & DETRIMENTAL TO HUMANS. Any attempt to introduce GMs will result in BLOOD SHED.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Saraswati
                    Jun 1, 2017 at 9:07 am
                    Is Soumya Swaminathan any relative of M S swaminathan. Anil GMo is GM whether made by Indians or MNCs. Its a dangerous technology with a point of no return. It will impoverish farmers and force them to commit suicide as happened with Bt Cotton. The greatest danger is biological contamination and loss of biodiversity. Indiahas one of the largest gentic pool in theworld.GM will destroy it all. There are plenty of Local variety seeds ehich are not only disease resistant climate resistant and give high yields. In green revolution time they Sabotaged the work of Dr. Richaria who proved that India doesn't need hybrid seeds of US...and saved close to 2000 varieties of desi paddy varieties. The w Green Revolution was a scam and a conspiracy to destroy Indian agriculture and make our farmers dependent on MNCs
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