As the deadline for public feedback on biosafety report for GM mustard ends today, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw called for a scientific discussion with political opinion leaders to provide a smooth path for GM crops in India.
“Until scientific discussion is allowed to happen with key political opinion leaders, GM crops have a troubled future (in India). Media is unwittingly hostage to unscientific rhetoric,” she said.
She lamented that political compulsions do not support GM (genetically modified) crops in India though regulatory system to assess them is adequate.
“India’s regulatory system to assess GM crops is adequate. However, the political compulsions do not support GM crops,” she told PTI.
According to Mazumdar-Shaw, farmers are voiceless when it comes to their demands on new technologies, and “their voices are drowned by NGOs who are articulate and can arouse fear in the mind of the common man who is not led by scientific rationale. This is also the case when it comes to other countries”.
Her comments came as deadline for public feedback on biosafety report for GM mustard ends today.
Opposing any move by the country’s biotech regulator to grant approval to GM mustard, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention alleging that vested interests are acting in haste, spreading falsehood and hiding facts on the issue.
The SJM, affiliated to the RSS, has said truth is being shielded and government is being “misguided” about the safety, yield and intellectual property rights of the GM mustard which is being touted as “Swadeshi”.
Raising 20 objections on the biosafety report by Environment Ministry on GM mustard, environmentalist Vandana Shiva has said independent studies, health and socio-economic factors should be taken into account before “exposing 1.5 billion Indians to the unscientific GM fraud”.