GM Mustard proceedings in Supreme Court: Industry remains hopeful, advocates innovation in agriculture

GM Mustard proceedings in Supreme Court: Seed industry remains hopeful, advocates innovation in agriculture

New Delhi: The recent Supreme Court proceedings on the genetically modified (GM) mustard have sparked reactions from the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII). Ram Kaundinya, Advisor to FSII, expressed optimism regarding the case, emphasising the need for a holistic understanding that acknowledges the pivotal role of technology in enhancing agricultural production.

“We are optimistic that a holistic picture emerges by recognising the significant role of technology in increasing agricultural production, solid scientific evidence, India’s robust regulatory systems, and the nation’s long-term interests,” said, Kaundinya.

In response to concerns raised during the proceedings about the risks associated with GM organisms, Kaundinya stressed the importance of considering India’s aspirations to reduce edible oil imports, save foreign exchange, and enhance productivity and farmers’ incomes. He urged for a comprehensive deliberation that recognises the cultural, social, and nutritional importance of mustard for India.

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Kaundinya reiterated FSII’s confidence in the robustness of India’s regulatory process for scrutinising GM crops. He highlighted the adherence to biosafety protocols by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) of the Government of India and the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM), emphasising their alignment with globally accepted standards.

“Innovations including GM, hold great potential to make crops resistant to pests and diseases, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices. Thus, India needs to be open to exploring such innovative technologies to transform its agrarian sector, which forms the basis of livelihoods of nearly two-thirds of the population,” Kaundinya remarked.

FSII, closely monitoring the GM Mustard proceedings in the Supreme Court, hopes that science will prevail, enabling farmers to access and benefit from scientific and technological innovations in the future. The association, representing India’s leading seeds companies, says it remains committed to fostering innovation in agriculture for the benefit of India’s farming community.

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