Decision on GM crops put on hold, says Javadekar

New Delhi, The decision about field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops has been put on hold, Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar Tuesday told a delegation of Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and Bhartiya Kissan Sangh.

Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor of SJM, said representatives of the SJM and BJS met Javadekar and apprised him about their concerns on the reported approval given to field trials of 15 GM crops by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of environment and forests ministry.

"The minister assured the members of SJM and BKS that the decision about field trials of GM crops has been put on hold," Mahajan told IANS.

He said that the delegation members told the minister that parliamentary standing committee on agriculture in its report on GM food crops tabled last year had recommended stopping of all field trials under any garb.

The Supreme Court appointed technical expert committee comprising eminent scientists, in its final report, had also highlighted the inherent risks associated with open release of GM crops and recommended against their open release including field trials until a robust regulatory mechanism was put in place, he added.

Mahajan said that the delegation told minister that it is not advisable to allow GM crops without proper scientific evaluation about their long-term impact on soil and human health.

"The process is irreversible. It should not be allowed. It can put the country's food security in danger," he said.

Javadekar had tweeted July 21 that field trials of GM crops is not a government decision and it was recommendation of a committee.

The GEAC had earlier this month given green signal for field trials of some genetically modified (GM) crops.

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