Environmentalists slam govt move on GM mustard

The environmentalists on Friday condemned the government's move to allow commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) mustard. Condemning the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) decision to allow herbicide tolerant Bayer's GM mustard, noted environmentalist Vandana Shiva has given an all India call to intensify resistance to the same and the hijack of food by poison cartel of Monsanto and Bayer, MoBay.

The GEAC gave a nod to Bayer's Herbicide Tolerant (HT) GM mustard on Thursday despite a case still being heard in the Supreme Court and a commitment that no decision will be made till the apex court gives directions

It is to note that this is the same GM Mustard of Bayer that was rejected in 2002 by GEAC.

Shiva said, "Bayer/Monsanto are not just hijacking our food through their genetically modified organism (GMOs) whose only purpose is royalty collection through patents. They are hijacking the government, the courts, and science. At the same time when GEAC has given approval to GMO mustard, Monsanto is trying to use the courts to attack our patent laws, especially Article 3 J which excludes patents on seeds, plants, and animals."

"The GMOs do not increase yields. They do not control pests. They do not control weeds. Instead, they create superpests and superweeds," the environmentalist added.

As Bayer and Monsanto are now merging, Bt Cotton and the GMO Mustard, HT DHM-11 thus have one common potential owner, she said.

Besides Shiva, 53 bodies of farmers have also urged the government to not allow approval of GM mustard for commercial use. In a letter to Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU) national spokesman Rakesh Tikait has urged him to reject GM mustard commercialisation application in total as it's not useful for farmers and against their economic interests.
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