Accusing that the Environment Ministry of having failed to keep its promise of putting up in the public domain scientific data pertaining to GM Mustard, Swadeshi Jagran Manch today said it is “withholding” feedback on the biosafety dossier and handed over a “blank paper” to the biotech regulator GEAC as mark of its protest.
“The Ministry has failed to keep its promise and has instead decided not to put up the data in public domain, and has said that the same can only be seen in office, without copying it. It is not humanly possible to even read, leave alone analysing and commenting on data running into voluminous 8 volumes within the short available time of 30 days.
“Because of this reason, we are withholding our comments under protest and would like to ensure that the scientific data is made public in true sense and sufficient time is given to stakeholders for reading and analysing,” Manch national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said in the cover to its letter to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC).
The Ministry, which had sought feedback from public on the biosafety dossier prepared by its panel on GM Mustard within October 5, today refused to extend the deadline.
He said in response to the Manch’s demand earlier, the Environment Ministry had promised to make the data public based on scientific facts and accord due consideration to the the concerns raised before taking a final decision.
Strongly opposing any move by GEAC to grant approval to GM Mustard, the SJM, affiliated to the RSS, sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention, alleging that vested interests are acting in haste, spreading falsehood and hiding facts on the issue.
The Manch has said truth is being shielded and the government is being “misguided” about the safety, yield and intellectual property rights of GM Mustard which is being touted as “Swadeshi”.
“Truth is being shielded and the government is being misguided about the safety, yield and IPR (due to patented genes). We take this opportunity to request you to intervene in the matter and ensure that no permission is given to GM Mustard,” the SJM wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister.