Representatives of 120 bodies to demand ban on commercial release of GM mustard
Representatives of over 120 organisations from 20 states will gather at Jantar Mantar here on Tuesday to demand a ban on commercial release of GM mustard.
"At a juncture when the government is disregarding voices of experts and farmer leaders, of state governments and citizen groups on all these matters, this assembly in Jantar Mantar assumes great significance," said Kavitha Kuruganti from Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA).
She said leaders from various political parties, major farmer unions, trade unions, honey industry representatives, people's movements and other civil society formations and scientists will join to show solidarity towards the issue.
"Citizens from 20 states of India, who are mainly representatives of around 30 large national organizations or alliances and more than 120 state level or local bodies will join Sarson Satyagraha protest against GM Mustard and to press home their demand for an immediate ban on it and other such GMOs," she said.
Even as anti-gm activists organise the protest, the Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it would not commercially release GM Mustard crop seeds without its permission.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said if there would be any decision to go ahead with the field trials of the GM crop and for its commercial release, then it would first seek the apex court's permission.
Kuruganti said that the country's biotech regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has closed its "farcical" public consultation processes without publishing any biosafety data related to GM mustard.