Government accused of “steamrolling” concerns
Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) is the economic wing of Sangh Parivar, the family of Hindu nationalist organisations in India affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
EXCERPT: Unhappy over its concerns over open-air field trials of GM crops not being addressed, the Manch [SJM] has said they are "not needed, unwanted and unsafe" and asked the government to stop them, noting that field trials are being cleared "in a great hurry".
RSS-affiliate red flags trial of genetically modified [crops]
Press Trust of India via Business Standard, 25 Mar 2015
RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch today said it was "deeply disturbed" at government "steam-rolling" its concerns over trials of genetically modified crops and sought the Environment Ministry's clarification on the trials in the wake of some states giving NOCs to them.
In a letter to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, the Manch has pointed out that it is unclear how state governments like Maharashtra have issued NOCs to trials of GM crops even when the Ministry is saying that government has not taken its decision on field trials while regulators have approved them.
SJM has told the government that during its interactions, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has not offered satisfactory answers to specific queries raised and is continuing with promoting the old policy which it terms as "unethical".
"We reiterate our concerns and opposition to such field trials and would like to state that we are deeply disturbed by the government steam-rolling such concerns," Manch's national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said in his letter.
He noted that while the Minister has been assuring them that government has not yet taken a decision on field trials while the regulators have approved them and the Agriculture Minister is asking for waiting for the Supreme Court verdict, "it is unclear how state governments like Maharashtra are supposed to have issued NOCs!".
"There is obviously something wrong here and we would like your Ministry to come out with a clarification on the matter of field trials and what the current status is," he said.
Unhappy over its concerns over open-air field trials of GM crops not being addressed, the Manch has said they are "not needed, unwanted and unsafe" and asked the government to stop them, noting that field trials are being cleared "in a great hurry".
"It is clear that our main concerns are not being noted and acted upon. We will like to remind that in interactions with SJM... The GEAC was not in a position to offer answers to specific queries raised... Instead of answers, what we see is unethical promotion of same old policy," Mahajan said.