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.