India’s biotech regulator greenlights GMO mustard—But hurdles to commercialization remain

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India’s central biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), on Thursday [May 11] cleared the genetically modified (GM) Mustard for commercial cultivation and recommended its approval to the environment ministry.

The fate of this transgenic variety of oil-seed will now be in the hands of the MoS environment Anil Madhav Dave who may either accept it, reject it or sit over the file till the Supreme Court takes its call on a pending application on the matter.

The GM mustard, developed by a Delhi University institution, is only the second food crop which got its clearance from the central regulator. The GEAC had earlier in 2010 cleared the Bt Brinjal but the decision was not accepted by then environment minister Jairam Ramesh. Currently, only Bt Cotton – a non-food GM crop – is commercially cultivated in the country.

The decision of the GEAC was, however, vehemently opposed by environmentalists, anti-GM groups and even the RSS-linked economic policy think-tank Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM). Reacting to the development, the SJM’s national co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan told TOI that the decision has no meaning at all when the matter is still pending in the Supreme Court. “We will write against the GEAC’s move to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the environment minister Anil Madhav Dave, requesting them to reject the recommendation of the GEAC”, said Mahajan.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: India’s biotech regulator gives green signal to GM mustard; activists oppose the move

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