New Delhi, 27th Feb, 2014: Reacting to the news on approvals of numerous field trials of GM crops, including that of GM varities of staple crops like rice and wheat, by the Minister of Environment and Forests, Veerappa Moily, the Coalition for a GM Free India condemned the action of the minister as unscientific, anti people and reeking of vested interests.

“The writing on the wall is clear now. The UPA govt is against the interest of the citizens, our farmers and the welfare of the nation itself and is hand in glove with the Multinational GM seed Industry who stands to gain immensely from the numerous open field trials of GM crops. Why else will they permit these field trials of risky GM crops which had been put on hold by the previous Environment Minister Smt Jayanti Natarajan?” said Rajesh Krishnan, Convenor, Coalition for a GM Free India. The former minister had pointed to concerns being raised by science and society as well as the final report of the Supreme court appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) to withhold any open releases of GM crops until a new robust regulatory system is in place. He further stated that “The whole episode of Jayanti Natarajan getting replaced by Veerappa Moily in the last 6 months of the current government and his promotional statements on GM crops and efforts to approve hundreds of field trials of various GM crops shows the real intent of the Central govt. Infact media stories had shown that repeated statement from the central govt including that from the Prime Minister favouring GM crops had pushed up the share price of Monsanto, the American Multinational seed giant whose GM crops lead the regulatory pipeline, by almost 50%” [2].

The efforts by the Central govt comes at a time when there is a growing body of scientific evidence on adverse impacts of GM crops on human health, environment and farm livelihoods. The Coalition had recently released a compilation of more than 400 abstracts of peer reviewed scientific papers that points to the various adverse impacts from GM crops [2]. There are also numerous evidences of contamination of seed and food supply by GM crops from field trials. The recent experiences of Monsanto’s GM rice and GM wheat from field trials contaminating the grain supply chain in USA is a case in point [3].

The recent past had seen the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture comprising of M.Ps from various political parties including ruling Congress as well as the Supreme Court appointed TEC reccomending against open field trials of GM crops. The Final report of the TEC set up by the Supreme Court of India in a PIL against open releases of GMOs into the environment had pointed to the inherent risks associated with GM crops and the absolute failure of the Indian regulatory system on GM crops. The TEC comprised of emminent scientists from the fields of molecular biology, toxicology, biodiversity, nutrition science etc had recommended against any open release of GM crops including for experimental trials, until a robust regulatory system is put in place. This was followed by more than 250 eminent Indian scientists including Padma awardees and 11 current and former Vice chancellors, writing to the Prime Minister about the serious concerns on GM crops[4]. They demanded that the Government of India stay clear of any vested interests and accept the recommendations of the TEC Final report as it is based on sound science, principles of sustainability and intergenerational justice.

The Coalition for GM Free India demands the Central Govt to heed to the science and society and immediately stop any efforts to release GM crops into the environment even in the name of open field trials.

Notes to the editor

  1. Media stories on share prices of Monsanto benefitting from Central govt actions is available here (a)


2. The 2nd edition of the scientific compilation on adverse impacts of GM crops can be accessed at


4. The letter to PM on concerns with GM crops by Indian Scientists can be accessed at

For more info:

1. Rajesh Krishnan, Convenor, Coalition for GM Free India,

Mob: 09845650032 , email: