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6   AgriTech indiA  May 2017

          ...Continued from page 1                       variants are doubly barred by   ...Continued from page 1
          Don’t enDorse GeAC’s                           the unanimous 5-member TEC   Gm mustard Gets                            Direct attack on women
                                                         recommendations: ie this is an
          “outrAGeous & Anti-                            HT crop and a crop in a Centre   reGulator’s approval                   the cultivation of GM mustard
                                                                                                                                 would  amount  to  a  direct
                                                         of genetic diversity.
          nAtionAl” ApprovAl                             admissions  of  your  Apex   petitioned the Supreme Court   ‘Scientific Sham’  attack  on  women  involved  in
                                                                                                                                 the  mustard  crop  ‘weeding.’
                                                                                                            M e a n w h i l e ,
          to GM MustArD                                  Regulator  and  the  Union  of   opposing the crop, said, “They   environmentalists  and  food   Our  conservative  estimates
                                                                                 can’t release it. This approval
                                                                                                                                 show that even 25% adoption
                                                         India in their ‘Reply’ Affidavit
                                                         submitted  to  the  SC,  would   is  completely  irregular  and   experts  have  termed  the  GM   of GM mustard in India would
                                                                                 unethical.  We  have  proven
                                                         effectively demolish wholesale,   fraud  (in  the  GM  mustard   for the commercial use of the   lead to the loss of over 4 crore
                                                         any sound basis for the release   studies   showing   higher   genetically  modified  mustard   employment  days,”  he  said.
                                                         of HT DMH 11 for commercial   yield).”          as a “scientific sham” and have   GM mustard cultivation would
                                                         cultivation.               “Their  plan  is  to  give  its   vowed to move court, if need   not require ‘weeding.’
                                                                                 approval  now  and  hope  that   be.               “In  its  election  manifesto,
                                                         I make three short points
                                                         Fails the first criteria
                                                            (a)  HT  hybrid  mustard
                                                         DMH  11  has  failed  the  first
                                                         criteria  of  a  test  risk  protocol
                                                         of a GM crop: ‘Is the GM Crop
                                                         required  in  the  first  place’?
                                                         The answer in “No” based on
                                                         the  admission  of  the  Union
          This  was  widely  reported  in   aside  other  risk  assessment   of  India  itself  in  their  ‘Reply’
          the newspapers.        protocols.  The  moratorium   Affidavit in the SC.
            The  second  is  the  grave   which  followed  was  also  in                                                         the  BJP  promised  that  it
          matter  of  the  independence,   large  part  influenced  by  the   Unfortunately,  the  whole                         would  not  allow  GM  food
          surety  and  rigour  of  the   fact  that  India  is  the  world’s   truth  uncovered,  is  that  no                   crops  without  a  long-term
          oversight  on  the  biosafety  of   Centre  of  brinjal  diversity   valid  comparators  were  used                    scientific  evaluation.  Hence,
          HT Mustard DMH 11, which is   with  2500  varieties  and  wild   and the field trials themselves                       the  Ministry  of  Environment
          critical  for  India’s  agriculture   species, which would certainly   stand  voided  on  the  basis                   should  reject  the  GEAC’s
          in  mustard,  its  food  safety   be contaminated.   of  serious  anomalies  and                                       recommendation,”  said  Dutt,
          (both as a vegetable and seed   The  37th  PSC  of  2012  (on   violations  in  field  testing,                        adding  that  the  episodes  of
          oil),  and  furthermore,  and  of   GMOs) in its recommendations   inconclusive   results   and                        herbicide  drifts  destroying
          outstanding  importance,  the   on  Bt  brinjal  and  regulation   even  statistical  fraud.  Yet,                     crops in neighboring fields and
          certain  contamination  that   had   observed   that   the   conclusions  were  drawn  and                             leading  to  farmer-to-farmer
          will  occur  to  India’s  mustard   committee was “----Convinced   disseminated  to  mean  that                        litigations  in  U.S.  courts  is
          germplasm. These matters are   that  these  developments  are   DMH 11 is a superior hybrid-                           well  documented.  “One  can
          of  course,  of  central  concern   not  merely  slippages  due  to   making  technology  that  will                   imagine  the  disaster  that  lies
          to your Ministry’s ‘regulating’   oversight  or  human  error   out-yield  India’s  best  Non-                         in store in India with its small
          function  and  mandate  for   but  indicative  of  collusion   GMO  hybrids  and  varieties.   File Photo: Roundtable discussion on GM Mustard organised by Swadeshi   landholdings,  on  this  front,”
          India.                 of  a  worst  kind.”  It  had  also   The fact is, Non-GMO hybrids   Jagran Munch at Constitution Club, New Delhi on 30  September 2016  he said.
            The third is the requirement   recommended   a   “through   and  varieties  out-yield  HT
          and my personal plea to you,   probe into the Bt. Brinjal issue   DMH 11 hands down.  by  the  time  sowing  season     The  Genetic  Engineering   assertion that the GM mustard
          to  take  note  of  the  lessons  of   from  the  beginning  up  to  the   (b) We know, based on the   starts, they will be ready to sell   Appraisal   Committee’s   variety DMH-11 — for which
                                                                                                         recommendation is ‘shocking’.
                                                                                 it,” she said.
          history  of  GMO  regulation   imposing of moratorium on its   AG’s  assertion  in  Court  that                        the   Ministry’s   approval
                                                                                    The  Supreme  Court  is
          in India, embedded as it is in   commercialization by the then   the Union of India holds that   likely to take up the hearing in   It  has  failed  to  act  as  per  its   is  pending  —  will  boost
                                                                                                         mandate:  to  protect  citizens
          the  most  serious  conflicts  of   Minister  of  Environment  and   this GM mustard will displace   July, after the break.  from  the  risks  posed  by   production and help India cut
          interest  and  lack  of  expertise,   Forests on 9 February, 2010 by a   imported  edible  oil-seeds  in               edible  oil  import  costs,  Food
          where  regulation  has  become   team of independent scientists   a  significant  way  (reduce  our   headed   the   Pental,   who   genetically modified organisms   and agricultural policy analyst
                                                                                                         (GMOs). “We will move court
          farcical.  For  this  reason,  self-  and environmentalists”.   oilseeds  bill).  However,  such                       Devinder  Sharma  described
          assessed  safety  dossiers  by                 an assertion in the light of the   developed this transgenic food   if  approval  is  given  by  the   it  as  a  ‘scientific  sham’.  The
                                                                                 crop, said he was not aware of
                                                                                                         Ministry,”  Umendra  Dutt,
          crop  developers  are  kept   Willful contempt of court  above  submission  is  to  say   the latest development.  member of the Coalition for a   country  suffered  from  no
          secret  by  our  Regulators  and   Bhushan said till date, the   the  least  ludicrous,  entirely                      mustard shortage, he said, and
                                                                                    Several  other  food  crops,
          governing  Ministries.  Four   GM  mustard  dossier  remains   lacking  any  semblance  of   such as Bt brinjal, have fallen   GM-Free India, said  if  the  government  wanted  to
                                                                                                            Dutt  said  GM  mustard
          official  reports  attest  to  the   unpublished   in   willful   logic.  Moreover,  the  nearest                      cut  edible  oil  import  costs,  it
          prevailing, utterly dismal state   Contempt  of  Court.  Prof   equivalent  to  Indian  mustard   foul  of  the  GM  regulator  and   is  a  herbicide-tolerant  crop.   should increase import tariffs.
                                                                                 failed to get approval. The new
                                                                                                         Such  crops  would  increase
          of regulation.         Pental is the Chair of the DBT’s   (Brassica  juncea)  is  rape-seed   development may spur India’s   the  use  of  chemicals  and  of   He  suggested  a  public
            Should  any  government   Agricultural   Biotechnology   oil  (Canola),  imported  from                              dialogue  on  GM  mustard
          treat  its  citizens  with  such   Task  Force.  SR  Rao,  Member   Canada  (which  is  essentially   push  towards  modified  high-  which cultivation would affect   before the final decision as was
                                                                                                         a  large  number  of  farmers,
                                                                                 yielding transgenic crops.
          willful   disregard,   despite   GEAC  is  over-all  in-charge   GMO) and represents just 2%                           done for Bt cotton.
          Constitutional provisions?   of  the  DBTs  Agri  Biotech   of  India’s  edible  oil  imports!   farmworkers and consumers.
                                 programmes.  The  DBT  also   Rs 68,000 Cr is the total import
          Bt brinjal issue       funds Pental’s GM mustard.   oil-seeds bill, not Canola alone,
            The  Bt  brinjal  Biosafety-  Does   anything   more   as the AG mistakenly stated in   DMH 11).   DMH 11 and its variants.   GMO   contamination,   our
          Dossier remained unpublished   need to be said to underscore   Court. Can this be the basis for   India’s   best   Non-  India  is  a  centre  of   mustard will be changed at the
          for  16  months  despite  a  SC   the  implications  of  this  cosy   the  Commercialisation  of  HT   GMO  hybrids  and  varieties   diversity  in  mustard  with   molecular  level.  Any  toxicity
          order,  but  eventually,  the   ‘arrangement’  of  partnership   mustard DMH 11?   are   already   significantly   9720  Accessions  in  our  gene   that  there  is  will  remain  in
                                                                                                         banks  (The  NBPGR3).  With
          Regulators  had  to  comply   in  the  Regulatory  oversight     (c)  Therefore,  we  draw   outperforming  HT  DMH  11.   perpetuity.
          with its full publication (with   of  HT  mustard  DMH  11  and   the   conclusion   that   the   Unfortunately and regrettably,   a  commercialised  GM  crop,   For  these  reasons  among
          the  raw  data),  which  then   GMOs in general?   stated  regulatory  intent  is   the plain truth is that decades of   contamination of non-GMO is   others, and there are decidedly
          revealed its fraudulence when   Data  that  has  ‘leaked’   to  deregulate  HT  DMH  11   good work already being done   certain. That is the evidence.  ‘others’, I would urge you on
          examined  and  appraised  by   around the edges demonstrate   as  a  policy  agenda  based  on   by our agri institutions and the   to   In   closing,   that   GMO   behalf  of  our  nation  not  to
          independent   scientists   of   that we have ample reason to   no  science,  and  to  convert   DRMR2  in  Non-GM  hybrid   endorse  this  outrageous  and
          international  stature.  Studies   be  greatly  concerned  of  gross   India’s  mustard  agriculture,   technology   and   superior-  contamination   is   neither   anti-national  approval,  but
          said  to  be  done  were  not   cover-up  and  misconduct.   in  a  massive  and  dangerous   yielding  varieties  will  be  laid   remediable nor reversible and   reject it in the public interest.
          done,  as  many  as  36  of  37   Furthermore, this HT mustard   experiment,  to  (GM)  HT   waste  in  this  dangerous  plan   is the outstanding concern.   You will be doing India a noble
          environmental studies, leaving   DMH  11  and  its  two  HT   hybrid  mustard,  (variants  of   for the country via HT Hybrid   The issue also is that with   service in posterity.
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