By Vishwa Mohan| – The Times of India – 30 September 2016

Source: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) – an RSS-linked organisation – on Friday brought all anti-GM groups together on one platform, demanding the government not to allow commercial release of transgenic mustard in India.

Having found ‘common enemy’ in GM mustard, these groups – breaking their ideological differences (both left and right wings) – joined hands and arrived at a common agenda to keep on opposing the central biotech regulator’s move on genetically engineered mustard, saying the environment release of transgenic variety would be disastrous for human health and biodiversity.

They also fielded a prominent French scientist Eric Seralini (known for his anti-GM stand) to highlight their opposition to the GM mustard under the SJM banner, prompting an association of India’s biotech industry to question the Manch’s move to field a foreign national to oppose genetically modified mustard which is developed by a Delhi University institution.

Demanding the government to out-rightly reject the application of GM mustard, which is under consideration of the central biotech regulator – Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the national convenor of the SJM Ashwani Mahajan told TOI that the Manch would next week formally submit the group’s objection, backed by scientific evidence, to the environment ministry.

A sub-committee of the GEAC had in August said that the GM was “safe for human and animal health” and it did not threaten biodiversity. The environment ministry had subsequently on September 5 made public the Committee’s report on its website and sought comments of stakeholders within 30 days (till October 5). The regulator will take its final call on the issue only after analysing all those comments.