GM mustard: govt to release biosafety data

GM mustard: govt to release biosafety data

GM mustard: govt to release biosafety data

The Union Environment Ministry has decided to release the biosafety data on genetically modified mustard. This comes days after the ministry was rapped by the Central Information Commission (CIC) for withholding crucial information.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) under the green ministry has decided to put up the safety document on its website, inviting comments from the public, said an environment ministry official here on Thursday. The GEAC is India’s ‘topmost regulator on genetically modified products’.

The decision comes two weeks after the CIC issued show-cause notices to two ministry officials for not disclosing the biosafety information on the GM mustard in violation of an earlier CIC order.

A technical panel under the GEAC scrutinised the safety document and gave its go ahead for the public disclosure. The decision was taken at the GEAC’s last meeting on August 11, days after Anil Dave took over the environment ministry.

The indigenous genetically engineered crop, developed by scientists at the Delhi University, is under the government's consideration for commercial release. But as anti-GM activists were up in arms against it, Dave’s predecessor Prakash Javadekar put it hold seeking further consultation.

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