Mysuru: Chief Minister Siddharamaiah has assured that he would write to the Centre soon requesting the authorities not to approve GM mustard for commercial cultivation. He was speaking to a delegation that met him at his residence yesterday morning.
The delegation briefed the CM about the potential adverse impacts of GM mustard. The CM said that he would also write to Prime Minister asking him to reject the GM mustard application. Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Delhi Governments have already written to the Centre, while large mustard growing States including BJP-ruled ones like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have taken a stand against commercialisation of GM mustard.
Social activist P. Mallesh who led the delegation explained that at a time when there is acute agrarian crisis, it is completely wrong on the part of the Centre to try and bring in a risky, irreversible technology.
Major General (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere pointed out that GM crops were antithetical to the approaches adopted in organic farming. In fact, GM seeds or products’ usage in organic farming is prohibited. The progress of India as the world’s top organic cotton producer was halted due to contamination from BT cotton, and with GM mustard too, contamination of non-GM/ Organic mustard is inevitable, he said.
Former ZP President Dr. Pushpa B. Amarnath said, “We had earlier declared Mysuru as a GM-free city, the first city in India to do so. To implement a policy like that, it is clear that we have to make sure that no GMOs are approved by the Centre.”
“The case of GM mustard is more serious and we are talking about 65 lakh mustard growers in India. The livelihoods of around 6 lakh bee-keepers are also at stake”, said Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha.