BKS opposes Centre’s nod for field trials of GM crops

Updated - April 22, 2016 01:58 am IST

Published - July 20, 2014 11:53 pm IST - Vadodara:

Women farmers demonstrate against genetically modified food crops in Hyderabad. File photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Women farmers demonstrate against genetically modified food crops in Hyderabad. File photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Various organisations, including the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), have opposed the Centre’s decision approving field trials of certain varieties of genetically modified (GM) crops and sought stalling of the move.

Apart from the BKS, the Organic Farmers Association and Gujarat Khedut Samaj have requested all States, including Gujarat, to withhold their nod to field trials which are “against the interests of farmers.”

The Environment Ministry on Friday gave its approval for field trials of certain varieties of GM crops, including rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton, with the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee clearing 15 such proposals.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, BKS president Maganbhai Patel and Organic Farmers Association of India chief Praful Sajliya termed the decision a “bonanza to Indian and multinational agri business companies.”

“The BJP had promised in its poll manifesto that it will consult farmers before taking any decision on this issue. Despite this, the GEAC has taken this decision which is undemocratic,” the statement said.

The organisations alleged that the Centre had ignored guidelines and views of the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Experts Committee and those of a Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture while approving the decision.

“This decision is taken in haste and is non-transparent. It is approved despite serious concerns being expressed by various quarters,” the statement said.

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