GM Mustard will have "serious" health and environmental impact, a farmers body today claimed and demanded a ban on the mustard hybrid. In its resolution, Kisan Ekta, which claimed to be the largest farmers organisation representing 400 million farmers also reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that GM Mustard is a "negative" value crop and will "endanger" not only farmers but also trade, exports and environment as well.
The farmers body also decided to re-launch "Yellow Revolution" with a focus on organic and agro-ecological approaches, higher assured prices and increased protection from cheap imported oil.
"We resolve categorically to demand to the government that GM Mustard has to be banned. We want the state governments also to reject GM mustard. "It is high time that we address the real issues that farmers face, vis-a vis farmer suicides, increasing cost of production, near stagnant prices, decreased import tariffs, massive crop losses, increasing debt of the farmers, and depleting natural resources including a healthy and organic soil," the body said in a statement.
The farmers body said that Indian agriculture has a strong "No GMO" brand value and is moving to a high value "Organic" brand, with very impressive growth rates while GM Mustard will destroy this trade advantage and the long-pending shift to organic farming and agro-ecological agriculture.
"We have also clearly understood that globally, there is massive opposition to any GM crop and any attempt to release more GM crops in India will endanger not only our farmers, but also our trade, exports and environment as well. "We wish to remind the PM that GM Mustard is a negative value crop, while organic mustard will have huge value appreciation. This is advantageous for the farmer, trader and consumer. No sensible nation will destroy this advantage," they said.
Other Anti GM activists have raised concerns on the process currently being undertaken by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the Environment Ministry for GM mustard which they have termed as "meaningless and unscientific".
GEAC had constituted a sub-committee of scientific experts to examine the bio-safety data on GM mustard. The report was placed on the Environment Ministry's website, inviting comments. Activists have alleged that the committee did not have any health expert and three of its members have conflict of interest.
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