Pawar's daughter on panel that will examine biotechnology Bill

Supriya Sule joins Parliament panel on science and technology; panel to submit report on Bill that gives easy access to GM crops in three months

Supriya Sule, entrepreneur and MPBy a strange coincidence, daughter of agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule, has been appointed member of the very panel to which the controversial Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill has been referred. The agriculture ministry, under the present minister, is known for its pro-GM stand, which gives rise to speculation about the timing of his daughter's appointment to the Parliament Committee on science and technology and environment and forests from May 1.

The Bill was referred to the standing committee last week by Rajya Sabha chairperson in consultation with Lok Sabha speaker. BRAI Bill proposes easy access to GM crops in India  through a single-window clearance. The parliament committee headed by Congress member of Rajya Sabha, T Subbarami Reddy, has been asked to submit its report within three months.

Pro-GM minister

Pawar and his ministry has been promoting GM crops in their reports and communiqués for a long time. Sule’s appointment came just over a week after science and technology minister Jaipal Reddy introduced the Bill in Lok Sabha after budget recess.

Even in March 2012, in its State of Indian Agriculture report submitted to Parliament, the agriculture ministry had stated that “a number of transgenics, particularly in cotton and vegetable crops, are sought to be introduced in the country.” While the moratorium on Bt Brinjal, the first transgenic food crop, still prevails in India, the agriculture ministry report says, “The national policy on GM food crops needs to develop GM crop-based agriculture in cost-effective and high-yielding crop varieties”.

Another panel had criticised Bill
 
In contrast to agriculture ministry’s stand, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture last year had recommended to the government  that the Bill was not the way forward to regulate GM crops.

Interestingly, there were reports that science and technology minister  Reddy had requested Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar to constitute a joint committee of both houses on BRAI Bill. However, this wasn’t confirmed till the filing of this report.

The parliament standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests comprises of 30 members, 10 from Rajya Sabha and 20 from Lok Sabha. At present, two seats are vacant in the committee.

 

GEAC, experts slip on basics?

GEAC, experts slip on basics?

As the biotech industry takes heart from the prime minister’s remark, a fresh report shows India’s regulation and expertise on GM crops are sloppy

Who is watching GM crops?

As India gets ready to unleash a vast number of genetically modified (GM) food crops, politicians have joined activists in opposing engineered crops. This is snowballing into a volatile political issue with states refusing to let the Centre have the final say in the matter. A number of chief ministers have objected to field tests of GM crops being conducted in their backyard, while some have declared that their states will be GM-free, citing health and environmental concerns. The political standoff comes against the worrying backdrop of slipshod regulation. Not only is illegal herbicide-tolerant cotton spreading across the country, biosafety regulations are being openly flouted by private crop developers acting in collusion with public research institutions. At the same time the industry is demanding a dilution of the rules on field tests and other regulations. Latha Jishnu and Jyotika Sood uncover the mess in GM crops

Who is watching GM  crops?

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  • What an interesting

    What an interesting coincidence ...of course we have nothing to worry coz none of our politicians have any biases or conflict of interest! They are completely altruistic beings with not a greedy or selfish bone in them ! We have to trust them completely to take us to hell in a hand basket!

    Posted by: Anonymous | 2 years ago | Reply
  • What really is happening is

    What really is happening is that they are trying to kill us and future generations with all these. ...SHAME SHAME Will the MEDIA personnel take up this task to make BIG campaign against these ridiculous so called committee. Take this forward make it know to everyone ...

    Posted by: Anonymous | 2 years ago | Reply
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