Chief minister’s decision welcomed by activists
EXCERPT: Dilnaz Variava, an activist and former member, High Level Expert Committee on 25 Year Action Plan for Agriculture in Maharashtra and former Vice President, Bombay Natural History Society… said… "We now hope that all concerns and suggestions are looked into with utmost seriousness, rigour and sincerity..."
Field trials of GM crops put on hold in state by CM Fadnavis; activists elated
Maharashtra government has decided to put a hold on confined field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops.
The Indian Express reported that the decision was taken and the letters were issued to all concerned parties on May 21.
The paper quoted the letter saying, "The state government has received objections from various institutions and reputed members of the society against the NOC [No Objection Certificate] given by it for conducting confined field trials of transgenic crops. The government has decided to put forth all the objections before the committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr Anil Kakodkar. All the objections raised will be reviewed and scrutinised and report submitted to the government. Till that time confined research field trials should not be started."
Activists have been campaigning against the use of GM crops and feel they have been vindicated by this decision of [Chief Minister of Maharashtra state] CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Dilnaz Variava, an activist and former member, High Level Expert Committee on 25 Year Action Plan for Agriculture in Maharashtra and former Vice President, Bombay Natural History Society in an email to DNA said, "We thank the CM for taking cognisance of these communications, and the concerns and objections expressed therein. We welcome the suspension of the NOC for open air field trials."
The statement further said, "We now hope that all concerns and suggestions are looked into with utmost seriousness, rigour and sincerity, given existing and emerging global concerns about the impact of GM crops on citizens’ health, on environmental sustainability, on India’s export trade as well as on farmers’ livelihoods and seed diversity, already seriously damaged."