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Supreme Court asked the government not to proceed on GM mustard for the time being, next hearing on 10th

Genetically Modified Mustard Cultivation: The matter of recommending the cultivation of genetically modified mustard has reached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has asked the Center to present its case on the petition of Anti-GM activist Aruna Rodrigues. While fixing the date of hearing on November 10, the court has said that the government should not take further steps on this issue at the moment. In the petition filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, it has been said that GM farming is harmful to environmental biodiversity. On the other hand, after the approval of GM Mustard from GEAC, many volunteer workers, farmers’ organizations and beekeepers have protested.

Supreme Court gave this order to the Center

In 2012, a committee set up by the court had recommended against GM crops. In the hearings held in 2016 and 17, the central government kept saying that no decision has been taken on GM mustard, but now the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Environment Ministry has recommended it. The central government is going to take a decision on this.

After hearing Prashant Bhushan’s arguments, a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sudhanshu Dhulia asked the question to Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati present in the court. He told that at present it is being planted only in the fields of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). On this, the judges said that the matter will be heard on November 10. At present, the government should not take any further steps on this issue.

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Why oppose GM mustard?

Along with mustard cultivation, beekeeping is also the main source of income for farmers in India. Very good quality honey is obtained from mustard. There is a great demand for natural mustard honey in the country and abroad, but many green groups and beekeepers have protested against the cultivation of Dhara Master 11 GM mustard. The main reason for this is that honey bees collect honey by pollinating mustard, but in many countries only honey prepared from GM-free mustard is used due to its medicinal properties.

This is the reason that the cultivation of GM mustard will not only affect the quality of honey, but may also reduce the export of honey. In this case, the Confederation of Apiculture Industry CAI, working in the field of beekeeping, believes that if GM mustard is cultivated in India, lakhs of beekeepers will have to undergo non-GM crop testing to export their honey. This testing is very expensive, which will increase the cost and concerns of beekeeping. According to experts, the cultivation of genetically modified mustard can affect the livelihood of about one million beekeepers.

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