Coalition writes to MoEFCC urging him to reject GM mustard

From: GM Free India <>
Date: 12 May 2017 at 18:30
Subject: Please reject GM mustard commercialisation application


Shri Anil Madhav Dave

Minister of State (Independent Charge)

Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change

Government of India.


Dear Sir,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Coalition for a GM-Free India, a broad platform of hundreds of organisations representing farmers, consumers, scientists and others to safeguard our food, farms and farmers against the adverse effects of genetic modification of organisms, and to establish lasting, farmer-controlled solutions on the ground.

We note with deep disappointment and shock the regulatory green signal from the GEAC for the commercial cultivation of GM Mustard. By clearing this crop and recommending to you its approval for commercial cultivation, the GEAC has failed the very mandate and purpose of its creation – to protect citizens from risks of GMOs. By clearing GM mustard, GEAC has shown itself to be anti-science, anti-farmers, anti-environment and anti-consumers.

GM HT Mustard is a hazardous herbicide tolerant food crop, which has direct adverse implications for a large number of Indian farmers, agricultural workers and consumers. We have shown over the past several months, through rigorous analysis of all available material (despite the shroud of secrecy that was maintained by the GEAC), 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. The appraisal was shoddy while the tests were rigged and many tests not taken up. The need for GM mustard was never questioned and answered. GEAC has ignored all the many valid questions raised by scientists and others and chose to function in an unscientific and biased fashion. Importantly, there was no integrity apparent in the processes adopted.

When the rest of the world is shunning GM crops, when the best yields of the world are with non-GM mustard, we would be foolish to rush into GM mustard commercialisation. There is absolutely no reason, not a single one, why the GEAC should have recommended this for approval. Herbicide Tolerant crops increase chemical usage. Our conservative estimates show that even 25% adoption of GM mustard in India’s mustard cultivation area will lead to more than 4 crore employment days being lost by poor women in mustard growing areas, which are mainly BJP-ruled states. This is a direct attack on poor women and their livelihoods, in addition to an attack on our environment and food safety.

Despite farcical processes of public feedback adopted by the regulators, many experts around the country presented solid analyses as to why GM mustard should be rejected. You would find such analyses here:, and all the material here is supportive evidence and data for why we oppose GM mustard.

The episodes of herbicide drifts destroying crops in neighboring fields and leading to farmer-to-farmer litigations in US courts is well documented. One can imagine the disaster that lies in store in India with its small landholdings, on this front. We do not need and should not be promoting technologies that build conflicts between farmers.

As you know, Indian farmers are already undergoing extreme hardships from severe drought, crop failures and debts to be serviced. Given these factors it is incumbent upon you to ensure that India’s farmers, food and unique seed diversity are not put to unnecessary risk by commercial production of GM food crops like GM mustard. As we repeatedly point out, this is unneeded, unsafe and unwanted. Farmers who have sensibly adopted organic farming and are contributing to environment conservation as well as food safety are going to be particularly affected by any GM mustard cultivation.

The BJP in its election manifesto has promised that it will not subject Indians to GM food crops without proper long term scientific evaluation, including about the impacts on consumers. This is exactly what was not done by your regulators. While their processes were unsurprising given that they have a record of being unscientific and irresponsible, we now turn to you to make the right decision, that of rejecting this GM mustard.

We appeal to you, in your capacity as the Minister for Forests, Environment and Climate Change to summarily reject the application for approval of GM-Mustard. We have high regard for your past record in being an environmentalist, supporting natural farming in India, and for sustainable, people-centric solutions. We also urge you to dissolve GEAC immediately, given their repeated unaccountable functioning.


Sridhar Radhakrishnan



Coalition for a GM-free India 

Website:, email :,  Facebook pageGM Watch India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top