New Delhi, May 11th 2017:  Sarson Satyagraha, a broad platform of hundreds of organisations representing farmers, consumers, scientists and others that has been at the forefront of resisting the approval of GM mustard in India has condemned the green signal provided by GEAC to herbicide tolerant GM mustard today.

“GEAC has proven yet again that it is unscientific and uncaring with regard to citizens’ health and environment. They have failed in their very mandate and purpose for which they have been created, to protect citizens from risks of GMOs. Earlier in the case of Bt brinjal too, they behaved irresponsibly and shamelessly unscientific. In this case, it is a hazardous herbicide tolerant food crop at that, which has direct implications for a large number of Indian farmers, agricultural workers and consumers. We have shown over the past several months, through rigorous analysis of available material, how this GM mustard dossier was rigged for favourable results, how it is an unneeded GMO, how it will increase chemicals in our food and farms (because it is a herbicide tolerant GMO) and how regulators should have never allowed it to proceed this far. They had ignored all the many valid questions raised by scientists and others and chose to function behind a shroud of secrecy.  
We hope and urge Minister Anil Madhav Dave to be responsible in his decision-making – this GM mustard should be rejected just a Bt brinjal was, 7 years ago. At least he should fulfill the mandate of his Ministry, even if the regulators did not. He should uphold BJP’s election manifesto promise that GM foods will not be allowed without full scientific evaluation on the long term effects on soil, production and biological impact on consumers. This is exactly what was not done by the regulators in their evaluation, whereas the little amount of testing done, and the very nature of the GMO points to serious problems in store if GM mustard is approved. This is now a test on the BJP government on whether they are to be trusted with their promises or not. While the Supreme Court has been told by this government that they will not go ahead with their approval without the Court’s nod, there is no reason for the government to hide behind the Court – it is a fairly straightforward decision given the hazards associated with this GMO. We urge the Minister to simply reject HT mustard commercialisation”, said the Coalition in a brief statement.
For more information, contact Kavitha Kuruganti at 8880067772 and Kapil Shah at 9427054132