India’s biotech regulator recommends environmental release of GM mustard – The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Union Environment Ministry’s Genetic Engineering Assessment Committee has recommended the release into the environment of genetically modified mustard which experts say paves the way for its commercial cultivation.

The move comes amid opposition from environmental groups who say the commercial cultivation of GM mustard could have a negative impact on human health and food security.

According to the minutes of the October 18 meeting, the GEAC, the country’s regulatory body for genetically modified organisms, recommended “the release into the environment of the mustard hybrid DMH-11 for its production of seed and its testing in accordance with existing ICAR guidelines and other existing pre-market rules/regulations. Release”.

“Furthermore, to generate scientific evidence in the Indian agro-climatic situation and also as a precautionary mechanism, the field demonstration studies regarding the effect of GM mustard on honey bees and other pollinators , as recommended at the 136th meeting of the GEAC, must also be conducted after release into the environment, simultaneously by the applicant, within two years under the supervision of ICAR,” it reads.

The transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11 was developed by the Center for Genetic Manipulation of Cultivated Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi.

The government has so far (as of 2002) approved only one GM crop, Bt cotton, for commercial cultivation.

Those who support the commercial cultivation of GM crops say its benefits include greater food security through increased yields, reduced costs for food production, reduced need for pesticides, and resistance to pests and diseases.

Kavitha Kuruganti, founder of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, said: “The claim that GM mustard will increase yield is not supported by data submitted by crop developers to the regulator.

When asked if the ‘environmental release’ recommendation meant a green light for commercial cultivation, she replied: “It has been approved for commercial release. They (the GEAC) say that any necessary testing can be performed after release into the environment.”

Kuruganti, who is a member of the Coalition for a GMO-Free India, said Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had previously expressed his views against GM crops.

“It was the regulator who gave the green signal. The minister should not approve it,” she said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Coalition for a GMO-Free India said: “This compromises biosecurity in a serious and reprehensible way, and we call on the government not to go ahead with allowing this dangerous herbicide-tolerant food crop in India”.

The coalition had recently written to Yadav that “GM mustard uses the pretense of creating hybrid technology in a plant like mustard, but is in fact a herbicide-tolerant crop. The entire biosafety assessment of mustard GM so far has not taken this fact into account.”

“The fact that a lethal herbicide like glufosinate will be used with this GMO is also ignored in regulatory testing (there is sufficient evidence of the adverse health and environmental effects of this herbicide to raise alarm bells for our regulators; this includes the emergence of ‘super weeds’). This highlights a very serious gap in our regulatory regime,” reads the letter dated October 20.

GM mustard is a herbicide-tolerant and toxic hybrid that will dramatically increase the presence of toxic chemicals in our food and soil and therefore impact health, said Rohin Kynar, agricultural campaign manager at Greenpeace. India.

“There also appear to be serious shortcomings in the safety assessment protocols adopted for GM mustard, as non-GMO groups have pointed out ‘there was no room for environmental risk assessment when the request for GM mustard has been processed,” he said.

NEW DELHI: The Union Environment Ministry’s Genetic Engineering Assessment Committee has recommended the release into the environment of genetically modified mustard which experts say paves the way for its commercial cultivation. The move comes amid opposition from environmental groups who say the commercial cultivation of GM mustard could have a negative impact on human health and food security. According to the minutes of the October 18 meeting, the GEAC, the country’s regulatory body for genetically modified organisms, recommended “the release into the environment of the mustard hybrid DMH-11 for its production of seed and its testing in accordance with existing ICAR guidelines and other existing pre-market rules/regulations. Liberation”. “Furthermore, to generate scientific evidence in the Indian agro-climatic situation and also as a precautionary mechanism, the field demonstration studies regarding the effect of genetically modified mustard on honey bees and d ‘other pollinators, as recommended at the 136th meeting of the GEAC, should also be conducted after release into the environment, simultaneously by the applicant, within two years under the supervision of ICAR,’ it read. The transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11 was developed by the Center for Genetic Manipulation of Cultivated Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi. The government has so far (as of 2002) approved only one GM crop, Bt cotton, for commercial cultivation. Those who support the commercial cultivation of GM crops say its benefits include greater food security through increased yields, reduced costs for food production, reduced need for pesticides, and resistance to pests and diseases. Kavitha Kuruganti, founder of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, said: “The claim that GM mustard will increase yield is not supported by data submitted by crop developers to the regulator. When asked if the ‘environmental release’ recommendation meant a green light for commercial cultivation, she replied: “It has been approved for commercial release. They (the GEAC) say that any necessary testing can be performed after release into the environment.” Kuruganti, who is a member of the Coalition for a GMO-Free India, said Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had previously expressed his views against GM crops. “It was the regulator who gave the green signal. The minister should not approve it,” she said. In a statement on Wednesday, the Coalition for a GMO-Free India said, “This compromises biosecurity in a serious and reprehensible way, and we call on the government not to go ahead with allowing this dangerous herbicide-tolerant food crop in India”. The coalition had recently written to Yadav that “GM mustard uses the pretense of creating hybrid technology in a plant like mustard, but is in fact a herbicide-tolerant crop. The entire biosafety assessment of mustard GM so far has not taken this fact into account.” “The fact that a lethal herbicide like glufosinate will be used with this GMO is also ignored in regulatory testing (there is sufficient evidence of the adverse health and environmental effects of this herbicide to raise alarm bells for our regulators; this includes the emergence of ‘super weeds’). This highlights a very serious gap in our regulatory regime,” reads the letter dated October 20. GM mustard is a herbicide-tolerant and toxic hybrid that will dramatically increase the presence of toxic chemicals in our food and soil and therefore impact health, said Rohin Kynar, agricultural campaign manager at Greenpeace. India. “There also appear to be serious shortcomings in the safety assessment protocols adopted for GM mustard, as pointed out by non-GMO groups ‘there was no room for environmental risk assessment when the request for GM mustard has been processed,” he said.

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