Coalition complains to Centre on illegal import of multiple GM seeds and lack of action on confirmed GM soybean case from months ago

GEAC and DGFT prove to be irresponsible regulators
“By not preventing illegal genetically modified seeds from entering the country, our regulators continue to dodge their responsibilities – jeopardizing environment and health of citizens”
New Delhi, March 6th 2018: A recent complaint lodged with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and a Right To Information (RTI) application seeking information regarding the illegal genetically modified soybean cultivation, stirred the apex regulatory body only enough to bring the critical issue to the notice of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), months after the issue became public and years after violating GEAC’s own regulations.
In reply to an RTI application filed by Kavitha Kuruganti of Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture in November 2017, following media coverage of illegal cultivation of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (HT) soy being planted in Gujarat, the GEAC blatantly lied in its response to the applicant by stating it had received no complaint about such illegal cultivation of GM HT soy. This was despite the fact that illegally cultivated soy samples were collected by Bharatiya Kisan Sangh for lab testing and the report sent to the GEAC along with a letter of complaint. Laboratory tests, which were also conducted by the Government of Gujarat apparently confirmed that these were indeed GM HT Soy, which have not been granted permission for field trials, let alone large-scale cultivation. It is also understood that apart from Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, the Government of Gujarat also alerted the GEAC to the illegal cultivation of GM HT soy in the state.
“The fact that the GEAC is writing now to the DGFT to take action (on preventing the illegal GM imports), makes it clear that it lacks any real intent to take serious action about the violations of its own regulations. It also indicates that it is putting up a show of having “done” something, before an upcoming Supreme Court hearing on PILs related to GMOs”, said Kavitha Kuruganti.
“Moreover, Commerce Ministry’s own data on imports of live seeds clearly indicates that India continues to import genetically modified seeds including GM canola, GM sugar beet, GM papaya, GM squash and GM corn seeds (apart from soybean) from countries such as the USA and Australia which in most cases predominantly grow transgenic versions of these crops, with no approval from the GEAC as is the requirement” said Rohit Parakh of India for Safe Food (IFSF), Mumbai.
It is clear that our regulators – whether it is the GEAC or DGFT are jeopardising our health and environment by not discharging their regulatory roles. “The regulatory system continues to be in shambles and shows just how it is not preventing GMOs from being illegally imported into the country, or planted. Collectively, they are failing on a key promise that the BJP has made in its election manifesto in 2014, which it failed to implement after coming to power”, said Kavitha Kuruganti. “We have lodged a fresh set of formal complaints with all our evidence with these regulators and waiting for action to be taken immediately”, she informed.
For more information, contact: Kavitha Kuruganti at 8880067772 or Rohit Parakh at 8414850885.

All relevant documents attached here.

DGFT Canola Seed 2013 Import Data

Coalition Complaint to GEAC on import of GM seeds for multiple products

DGFT Maize Seed Import 2016 Data

DGFT Sugar Beet Seed Import Data 2016

GEAC RTI as of 22nd Jan stating no complaint received from Gujarat on GM soybean

Coalition complaint letter to DGFT on import of GM seeds for multiple products and GM packaged products          BKS Complaint to GEAC on GM Soya in Oct 2017 – Page 2

BKS Complaint to GEAC on GM Soya in Oct 2017 – Page 1

GEAC Letter to DGFT in February on back of Coalition Complaint on GM soybean seed import

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