A day after the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) that functions under the Union Environment Ministry cleared the proposal for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) mustard, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) farmer body Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) opposed the move and said that it could cause cancer and is injurious to health.
In its letter to the Central government, the BSK alleged that GEAC, Delhi University and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are working hand-in-glove in matters pertaining to Genetic Modification in food crops.
Mr. Mohini Mohan Mishra, All India General Secretary of BKS, told The Hindu that the GEAC in its study claimed that GM mustard is Herbicide Tolerant (HT) mustard. He further added that the GM Mustard has been always under scanner and termed it a “scientific fraud”.
“The HT technology is mostly carcinogenic. It is a killer technology that kills soil, microbes, pollinators, almost all medicinal herbs and adversely affects crop diversity. It can also cause cancer in Humans,” added Mr. Mishra who further alleged that the GEAC is not able to resist the entry of unwanted, unsuccessful (HIV-high investment variety) GM food crops into the farming system and food chain of India.
He further said that the actions of the GEAC are unscientific, nonsocio-economical in cases of GM crop.
“We request the Central government to step into this matter with urgency and revisit their mandate and accountability fixed at par with the agenda of non-chemical, self-sustainable agriculture to provide sufficient healthy food to our people with eco-friendly agricultural practices,” Mr. Mishra said.