GM mustard application must be rejected: Bihar CM

Patna,(BiharTimes): Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has demanded that the application for cultivation of GM mustard be cancelled.

In a letter to Minister of State (Independent charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave (who incidentally died early on Thursday) the Bihar chief minister wrote on Wednesday: “I strongly urge you that this GM mustard application must be rejected instantaneously.”

“No decision on GM crops should be taken in haste, which can harm the interests of the farmers and the people of the India at large,” the letter said.

According to media reports the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has accorded regulatory clearance to GM mustard’s commercial cultivation and the matter now awaits the nod of Environment Minister.

Nitish referred to his earlier letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 10, 2016 and said “our concerns and objections to this proposal for GM food crop cultivation remains un-resolved. I had already raised the issue of how state governments will be forced to bear the adverse consequences of this technology if the Centre approves such GMOs for cultivation, whereas agriculture is a state subject.”

Critics, who are protesting, are of the view that this technology is likely to be commercialised by the multinational seed companies, which will be highly monopolistic and leave millions of farmers in the hands of seed companies.

Besides, the present Seed Act does not have adequate provisions for liability and compensation. If such risky technologies fail it will cause damage to farmers and the environment, the chief minister said.

Nitish reminded that the issue is still pending in the Supreme Court, which has given status quo order on GM mustard’s approval by the Union government. The Centre has to address the issues and make its submission to the Supreme Court before taking a final decision.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Nitish condoled the death of Dave.



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