A Parliamentary Panel asked the government to put a halt on all field trials and demanded bar on Genetically Modified (GM) food crops.
The committee sought probe into how permission was given to commercialize Bt. Brinjal seed when all evaluation tests were not carried out.
- The Panel criticized the government for not discussing the matter in Parliament
- The Panel asserted that the Environment Ministry has not been able to perform its responsibility well and has overlooked the interests of the 70 % small and marginal farmers.
- It criticized the composition and regulatory role of the Genetic Engineering Approval (Appraisal) Committee and the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM).
- It suggested the government to put in place all regulatory, monitoring, oversight and surveillance systems considering conflict of interest of various stakeholders.
- It drew attention towards ethical issues attached to the transgenics in agricultural crops, as well as studies of a long-term environmental and chronic toxicology impact.
- As per the panel, the GM crops didn’t provide any significant socio-economic benefits to farmers. Instead, farmers have incurred huge debts because of this capital-intensive practice.
- It demanded explanation from the government on how the cotton seed oil extracted from Bt. cotton had gotten into the food chain and what could be the impact on medicinal plants.
- It questioned how the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority could be a promoter of GM crops as well as a regulator.