Supreme court asks why open field trials of GM crops not be banned

Supreme Court of India has sought the union government's viewpoint on the open field trials ban on genetically modified crops


REPLY TO SC! It would be interesting to know whether the present government will reply or the response will come once the new regime takes over after May 16!

Why there should not be an interim suspension of open field trials of genetically modified crops in view of an expert committee disfavouring it? This was the question asked by the Supreme Court on April 22, 2014 to the union government.

According to media reports quoting Press Trust of India, the bench headed by justice HL Dattu observed, "We have reports of responsible persons who occupy responsible positions. Don't you think there should be an interim order (against open field trials) till we hear this case?"

However, the bench, also comprising justice SA Bobde clarified that it was not inclined to halt trial in closed environment or isolated conditions.

The anti-GM activists represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, submitted that open field trials should be banned till a strong regulatory regime was in place.

Mr Bhushan cited the 2012 report of the court-appointed expert committee recommending the ban and the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to buttress the argument that experts were of the opinion that a moratorium should be imposed on open field trials till regulatory regime was put in place.


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