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Petitioning Prakash Javadekar

Genetically Modified Mustard is Unsafe for Us. Stop potential approval of its cultivation

45,421
Supporters

This ‘new’ mustard in our kitchen could soon be harmful to us. Mustard oil is an everyday consumption item for lakhs of families across India. Almost all our curries are incomplete without a seasoning of mustard and mustard products find their way into our food in various ways. Don’t we have babies massaged with mustard oil? Have we not enjoyed Sarson da Saag on cold winter days?

And now our mustard is getting Genetically Modified. Shockingly, important information about this new Genetically Modified (GM) mustard is not being disclosed to us.

The government regulators are planning to meet soon and take a decision on permitting GM mustard to be cultivated across the country. If approved, GM mustard will be the first GM food on our plates and that’s disturbing.

I am seriously concerned about this move, especially when it goes against the promise of BJP in its manifesto not to allow GM food into the country without fully evaluating it scientifically.

Not only are they breaking their promise, they are doing it so quickly and quietly that you and I hardly have time to react. We need to act now to make sure the food we eat everyday is safe and healthy.

We cannot allow the government to take decisions about the food we eat in this underhand manner. This is mustard, we all use it, we cannot avoid using it. If permitted, we might have no choice but to use harmful, unhealthy GM Mustard.

And GM Mustard is totally unnecessary especially because there are existing local and hybrid varieties as well as farm practices which give as much or more than the yield claims of this dangerous GM mustard. Contamination from GM Mustard is also fast and irrevocable.

Ask Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to stop the possible approval of commercial cultivation of GM Mustard.

Several studies show that GM food is not safe for us. Indian government is aware of such studies. Many people have pointed to the dangers of GM food including experts and even the Technical expert committee set up by the Supreme Court itself.

Despite these warnings, GM Mustard is now going to be released in India. However no data has been released about its safety tests. Nor has information been put out on what went into making this GM mustard. This includes the fact that new genes for male sterility and tolerance towards weed-killing chemicals called herbicides have been used to make this GM mustard. The herbicides in question are associated with big MNCs like Bayer.

We don’t want GM food. Government knows this. The previous government was forced to revoke the commercial approval for Bt Brinjal, another GM food crop, after safety issues were made public and we protested.

Supreme Court-appointed Technical Committee and a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture have both recommended against any open air release of GMOs, including field trials leave alone commercial cultivation, until our regulatory system is revamped. They have also spoken about the growing scientific evidence on the adverse impacts to health and environment from GM crops.

Sign my petition and ask Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to ensure no commercial cultivation of GM Mustard is permitted and release all data about the GM Mustard safety tests.

This is a fight for the food we eat everyday. Sign my petition and forward this campaign to your friends.

For more information on this issue, take a look at this presentation we put together. http://www.slideshare.net/RachnaArora4/gm-mustard-rsks-and-threats

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