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Activists in India put GMO mustard in regulatory limbo

| | October 26, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

India has frozen requests to commercially release a locally developed genetically modified mustard, an environment ministry document released on Tuesday [October 24] showed, amid stiff opposition to lab-altered food from domestic activists and politicians.

The mustard variety would have been the first transgenic food crop to be allowed for commercial cultivation. But the environment ministry’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has deferred approval despite a panel the ministry supervises giving the genetically modified (GM) mustard technical clearance last year.

The decision on the mustard represents a setback for Deepak Pental and his colleagues at the Delhi University, who worked on developing and testing the variety for years.

GM food has been opposed by activists and politicians in India due to fears that it could compromise food safety and biodiversity.

Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – Hindi for “national volunteer organization” and the ideological parent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party – also opposes GM food and instead wants to promote local varieties.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: India drags feet on GM mustard permit amid powerful opposition

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