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SC to consider hearing plea against import of genetically modified soya seeds

New Delhi, The Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to consider hearing of a plea challenging the import of genetically modified (GM) soya seeds in the country on the grounds that they might have adverse health effects.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli was told by lawyer Prashant Bhushan that the GM soya seeds are “toxic” and their import should be banned.
He also said that the GM soya seeds, which have already been imported, not be allowed to be sold and sought urgent listing of the interim application, filed in the PIL which is pending since 2005.
“We will see,” said the bench to the request made by Bhushan early hearing of the plea.
In 2017 the court had asked the Centre to apprise it of any adverse impact, based on research, of the commercial release of GM mustard crop.
If the commercial roll out of the GM mustard crop has adverse impact, then the government would have to take a “well-informed” view before coming out with a policy decision on it, it had said, while taking note of Bhushan’s submission that the GM seeds might have adverse effects leading diseases like cancer.
The Centre had then said it has not taken any policy decision on the commercial release of the GM mustard crop and was considering various aspects including the data.
The apex court had on October 17, 2016 extended the stay on the commercial release of the GM mustard crop.
The PIL has been field by Aruna Rodrigues, an activist.
A GM crop has a gene artificially inserted into it from other species, even unrelated, to give it some desired properties and such crops are mostly pest-resistant.
Unsuccessful efforts have been made to allow cultivation of GM Brinjal and mustard crop. PTI