By Colin Todhunter – Global Research, 23 September 2015
The approval and planting of large-scale field trials of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently taking place. According to environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues, this is completely unconscionable. It is occurring even as the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) Report awaits adjudication in India’s Supreme Court, which expressly recommends a bar on herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. As a result, Rodrigues is mounting a legal challenge as the lead petitioner in a Public Interest Litigation.
Large-scale field trials may only be conducted when a crop has comprehensively cleared all biosafety protocols in rigorous independent long-term testing and appraisal. However, this has not been the case with GM mustard. Rodrigues argues that official regulators have even hidden all data from the public and the independent scientific community, which is against constitutional provisions and the orders of the Supreme Court. She concludes this means one thing: mandatory rigorous biosafety protocols have not been carried out and the data pertaining to ‘mustard DMH 11’ therefore needs to be concealed.
Requests for data have been refused. Rodrigues asserts that the secrecy surrounding GM mustard exemplifies the appalling state of regulation and smacks of corruption. She thus concludes the Indian government is using underhand means to introduce GM crops into Indian agriculture. There appears to be no place for science or transparency in this process, which will inevitably contaminate India’s mustard diversity.
GMOs And “Unremitting Fraud” In India: Petition Filed For Contempt Of Court Against Members Of Genetic Appraisal Committee Over GM Mustard
By Colin Todhunter – East by Northwest, 15 December 2015