1. Supreme Court notice to govt on HT GM mustard field trials

Supreme Court notice to govt on HT GM mustard field trials

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the government on a plea asking it to initiate contempt against three members of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for proceeding with numerous field trials of GM mustard.

By: | Published: February 2, 2016 1:02 AM

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the government on a plea asking it to initiate contempt against three members of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for proceeding with numerous field trials of GM mustard.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur sought response after counsel Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of activist Aruna Rodrigues, alleged that the GEAC, the regulatory body for the licencing of genetically modified organisms, has evaded various orders of the Supreme Court to carry out full biosafety tests on GM crops.

He wanted the court to initiate contempt against GEAC chairman Hem Pande, its co-chairman and member for wilfully and deliberately disobeying the Supreme Court’s explicit orders on May 8, 2007, February 15, 2008, April 8, 2008 and August 12, 2008 by proceeding with GMO field trials of GM mustard, with the aim of commercially introducing herbicide tolerant (HT) food crop to India. In 2008, the government had committed to the Supreme Court that such biosafety data would be put out in public domain for the trials being conducted then for seven crops, which included GM mustard.

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