24 July, 2021

A Law Unto Itself

Amidst the Bt rumpus, a new GM bill may muzzle public concern

Photo-imaging Bonita Vaz-Shimray
A Law Unto Itself

Science Versus The Rest: Draft Bill Concerns

  • Main aim is to create asingle-window clearing-house for GM foods/crops
  • Planned regulatory authority to have overarching powers over state governments, existing laws
  • No room for farmers or civil society in approval process
  • Penal action for raising objection without scientific evidence
  • No independent risk assessment of data submitted to the authority
  • No provision for revoking approvals, inadequate liability clause
  • No informed choice for consumers through mandatory labelling


The surcharged debate over GM (genetically modified) crops and food has blundered into ominous terrain. Do civil society and scientists have the right to question government decisions on deployment of GM crops and foods? If a new draft bill for setting up a national biotechnology regulatory body goes through Parliament in its present form,...

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