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Greenpeace moves EC for annulment of GM crop field trials

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 22:14

New Delhi: Environmental group Greenpeace today moved the Election Commission, seeking annulment of the GEAC decision to revalidate the field trials for ten varieties of genetically modified (GM) food crops.

In its letter to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, Greenpeace India Executive Director Samit Aich also asked the Election Commission to "scrutinise" the government`s "undue haste" in signing the agreement with Russia for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.

The letter comes a day after the Election Commission asked the government to defer till elections the controversial doubling of natural gas prices for companies like RIL from next month.
"As in the case of the gas price hike where the Election Commission has rightly notified the Central
Government to put the price hike on hold, we strongly believe that the GM field trials that have been revalidated by the GEAC as well as approval of Kudankulam 3 and 4 should be put on hold," the NGO said.

The Greenpeace noted that there is a clear case of undue commercial benefit to a corporate by paving way for field trial of GM crops, and complete disregard for the law of the land in the government`s approval of Kudankulam 3 and 4.

"We demand that the Election Commission immediately intervene and annul the GM field trials approved by the GEAC under the direction of the MoEF and defer the approval of Kudankulum 3 and 4 and ensure level playing field during the general elections," it said.
The Genetic Engineering Advisory Committee (GEAC), a statutory body for approving genetically modified crops, had last week decided to re-validated proposals for wider field trials for 10 genetically modified crops including wheat and rice.

Rice, wheat and maize which form the part of staple diet in most parts of India, cotton and sorghum are some of the crops allowed for trials over large areas.

Over 70 new proposals, including of many food crops, will also be examined by GEAC in April.

First Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 22:14

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