New Delhi, Aug 1 :
A group of scientists Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi protesting the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee’s decision to carry on experiments on GM crops as these adversely impact the environment.
“It is shocking that GEAC took this decision in its first meeting after your government took charge. It is unfortunate the committee continues to follow the unscientific approach towards environmental release of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) when there is growing scientific evidence on the adverse impact of GMOs on human health and environment,” said the letter.
The GEAC under the environment, forests and climate change ministry recently approved numerous experiments on GM crops, including many GM food crops.
The letter was written by P.M. Bhargava, Padma Bhushan awardee and former member of National Knowledge Commission; Minoo Parabia, retired professor of Bio-Sciences at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University; V.S. Vijayan, former chairman of Kerala State Biodiversity Board; Dinesh Abrol, visiting professor at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy and Tushar Chakraborty, senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata.
They added in the letter that opposition to open release of GMOs originated in scientific circles and continues to be fuelled by ever-growing scientific evidence of its adverse impact.
“We hope your government will rectify the mistake and ensure safeguarding of biosafety and livelihoods of farmers as well as ensuring seed sovereignty and food security of the nation will be the primary concern when assessing the need and safety of GMOs,” they appealed in the letter.