An official document of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the Environment Ministry suggests that the country's apex GM crop regulator has kept pending its decision on the commercial release of genetically modified mustard.
This comes after it was earlier reported that the GEAC has recommended approval of the commercial use of GM mustard.It was left for the Environment Ministry, the nodal ministry in this regard to take a final call in this regard.
"Subsequent to receipt of various representations from different stakeholders, matters related to environmentalrelease of transgenic Mustard are kept pending for further review," a document containing the minutes of a May 11 GEACmeeting, which has been put on public domain, says.
It assumes significance as an assortment of pressure groups, including the RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch, have been pressing the government to reject the recommendation of the GEAC.
The Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), Delhi University South Campus, had submitted anapplication to the GEAC for the environmental release of GM mustard (brassica juncea) hybrid DMH-11. When contacted, a top official of the ministry said that the line 'the GEAC has recommended the approval of commercialrelease of GM Mustard with certain conditions' was omitted by mistake.
"Tomorrow it will be corrected," additional secretary of the ministry, Amita Prasad, said.