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No final decision on commercial release of GM mustard: Centre informs SC

No final decision on commercial release of GM mustard: Centre informs SC
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

New Delhi, Jul 17 (UNI) The Union of India today told the Supreme Court that it has not taken any final decision on its policy in connection with the commercial release of Genetically Modified (GM) mustard crop. A bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, was informed by the Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that the Union government was considering various aspects of the matter and has invited suggestions and objections on the commercial roll out of GM crops. The bench gave the government one week's time to apprise it as to by when it will take an "well-informed and well-intentioned" policy decision on the roll out. The apex court was hearing from advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Aruna Rodrigues, who alleged that the government was sowing the seeds in various fields and said the bio-safety dossier has to be put on website, which has not been done yet. The apex court had on October 17 last year extended the stay on the commercial release of GM mustard crop until further orders. Restraining the commercial release of the crop, the apex court had asked the Centre to seek public opinion on such seeds before releasing it for cultivation purpose, even as government approval is awaited. Mustard is one of India's most important winter crops which is sown between mid-October and late November. The petitioner, Rodrigues, had filed the plea seeking a stay on the commercial release of GM Mustard crop and prohibition of its open field trials. UNI XC RP1705

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