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Parliament Panel Likely to Review Clearance For GM Mustard

News18.com

Updated: May 16, 2017, 8:53 AM IST
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Parliament Panel Likely to Review Clearance For GM Mustard
A mustard field on the outskirts of Srinagar (Reuters)

New Delhi: A Renuka Chowdhury-led parliament panel is likely to review the clearances received by genetically-modified (GM) mustard, from central biotech regulator GEAC, for commercial use.

A Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) had last week recommended GM mustard for commercial cultivation. However, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave's approval is still awaited.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, headed by Chowdhury is likely to review the GM crops and their environmental impact, an official source told PTI.

Also, Chowdhury has said the environment minister should wait for the committee's report before taking any decision in the matter.

The committee has deliberated upon this subject several times and is likely to meet this month to review the clearance given by the GEAC for GM mustard's commercial cultivation, source added.

Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), Delhi University South Campus, had submitted an application to the GEAC for the environmental release of GM mustard (brassica juncea) hybrid DMH-11.

The environment ministry had received over 700 comments from various stakeholders, including farmers and researchers, on the Assessment of Food and Environmental Safety (AFES) report on GM mustard which it had earlier posted on the ministry website.

The application was submitted in 2015 after which several rounds of meeting were held by the GEAC. The sub-committee also convened meetings with experts.

The GEAC had also heard the views of various NGOs which are not in favour of giving an approval to GM crops. Among the opponents were organisations affiliated to the RSS.

GM mustard is the second genetically modified food crop after Bt Brinjal that has obtained all required regulatory approvals and reached the Environment Minister's table for clearance.

Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh had refused clearance to Bt Brinjal and put an indefinite moratorium on the decision.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: May 16, 2017, 7:50 AM IST
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