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House panel chief to PM : ‘Don’t decide on GM Mustard till we study’

Chowdhury has asked the government to “wait till the panel completes its examination and finalises its report on GM products”

Written by Anand Mishra | New Delhi | Published: May 16, 2017 2:11 am
Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury, House panel chief, PM, GM Mustard, rime Minister Narendra Modi, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, Indian Express, Indian Express News Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury. (File Photo)

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, the chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, Renuka Chowdhury, has expressed concern over genetically modified (GM) Mustard getting green nod for commercial cultivation from the central biotech regulator — Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).

Taking note of concerns raised by various environmental groups and agricultural bodies, Chowdhury has asked the government to “wait till the panel completes its examination and finalises its report on GM products”, said sources.

“We have told the government that we are studying it… We will call representatives of the GEEAC and the ministry… it is for them to come and answer what kind of studies they have conducted,” a panel member said.

The panel is likely to hold a meeting next week. While the GEAC has approved GM Mustard for commercial cultivation, the final nod is to be given by the Environment Minister. Some members in the panel are learnt to be of a strong view that GM Mustard is “not good” for the country. “This is a very serious issue. We have to be very careful about our citizens’ health,” said a panel member.

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  1. S
    sultan ismail
    May 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm
    Yes it is true. It is improper for the ministry to take a decision when the panel is in the process of preparing a study report. We respect biodiversity and not genetric slavery...
    1. A
      Aruna Rodrigues
      May 16, 2017 at 10:31 am
      Making studies available to the PSC is a good step. However, this panel is not a scientific body. The Q is can any government decide on a hazardous food technology like GMOs using subterranean methods of regulation -- keeping what secret and from whom, the very people that will have to eat the GM food? Put the safety dossier in FULL IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN Let the international scientific community respond to the raw data of the self-assessed biosafety dossier. Let the government itself invite international scientists to do so, make a budget, pay for the critique and PUBLISH THE DATA Furthermore, what is the source of the massive media coverage declaring that this GM Hybrid mustard has superior yield? Given that this is UNTRUE by the GOVERNMENTS OWN ADDMISSION IN THE SC, the Q must be asked: Is public policy on GMOs and GM Mustard specifically based on such unscientific claims. An investigation is required