‘The next stage of the case involving the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is to be heard on 15 September in the Supreme Court (SC). GM mustard could be India’s first commercially cultivated GM food crop, which could very well open the floodgates to the commercialisation of various other food crops that are in the pipeline.
Lead petitioner Aruna Rodrigues is seeking a moratorium on the environmental release of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the absence of comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocols in the public domain and biosafety studies conducted by independent expert bodies the results of which are made available in public domain.
The petitioners argue that the present circumstances warrant a prohibition on commercial release of DMH-11 mustard in view of the fact that:
Mustard is a crop of origin/diversity in India
DMH-11 and parental lines contain herbicide tolerant (HT) traits
DMH11 has failed to satisfy the prior requirement of ‘need’ of this crop as evidenced from the results of the open field trials
The conduct of Biosafety Research Level (‘BRL’) trials were comprehensively flawed and are invalid’