Take considered view on GM mustard: SC to Centre

Take considered view on GM mustard: SC to Centre

Gives govt a week's time to apprise it of policy decision

Take considered view on GM mustard: SC to Centre
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to take a considered view of its policy decision on the commercial release of genetically modified mustard crop.  The apex court said the effects of such a move would be “irreversible”.

“It is an extremely, extremely important issue. You (Centre) take a well-informed and considered decision as once it is allowed, the effect would be irreversible,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The bench granted the Centre a week to apprise it of the time by which it would take a policy decision on the GM crop rollout. The ASG submitted that the Centre has not taken any policy decision on the commercial release of  GM mustard crop. It has also invited suggestions and objections on the issue. The apex court had on October 17 last year extended the stay on the commercial release of the GM mustard crop till further orders. It had asked the government to seek public opinion on such seeds before releasing them for cultivation purposes.

Mustard is one of India’s most important winter crops, which is sown between mid-October and late November. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Aruna Rodrigues, had claimed that the government was sowing the seeds in various fields and that the bio-safety dossier, which had to be made public by putting it on the website, has not yet been done. He had sought a 10-year moratorium on it, relying upon a technical expert committee report that had also said the entire regulatory system was in “shambles”.
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