Notice on GM mustard sent to biotech regulator
Noting that the risk assessment report put up by the Environment Ministry is of "limited value", the notice sent by Bhushan to Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) chairman Amita Prasad also asked the regulator to provide a minimum time of 120 days for feedback on the report to allow independent scientists nationally and internationally to respond.
"GEAC is required to immediately upload the full dossier with its raw data on the ministry website with a minimum time- scale for feedback of 120 days to allow independent scientists nationally and internationally to respond. "Please also ensure that it is in printable format. It would be good if GEAC would show more respect for science and independent scientists that engage in this process," the notice said. GEAC had constituted a sub-committee of scientific experts to examine the biosafety data on GM mustard. After the committee examined it, the report was placed on the Environment Ministry's website on Thursday inviting comments from stakeholders within a period of 30 days before the biotech regulator took a decision. The report claimed that the hybrid variety did not pose any risk to biodiversity or agro-ecosystem.
"You have now much belatedly put out some data of limited value while not making public the essential biosafety dossier. "Apparently our regulatory bodies continue to repeat their historical mistakes of serious non-governance of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and then take recourse to an underground process of regulation to hide their misdeed that is in violation of constitutional rights of the people of this country," the notice said.
Talking to PTI, Bhushan said that CIC has ordered that the risk assessment report be put on the website. "They are giving approvals without putting out the data. Putting out the data brings out the fudging, fabrication. The notice is about all that," he said.