Activists Ask Indian Court to Stop GM Crop Trials

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5656, pp. 297
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5656.297b

NEW DELHI—A private citizens' group has asked India's Supreme Court to stop all field trials and commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops until the government improves its regulatory and monitoring systems.

CREDIT: PAVALLA BAGLA

Geneticist Suman Sahai, who heads Gene Campaign, says that none of the data relating to the country's first-ever commercial Bt cotton crop in 2002 has been made public. “Our biggest concern is the lack of technical competence and the shocking absence of transparency” in the government's decision-making process, she says. But a Department of Biotechnology official says that the data “cannot be released, as it may infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the companies.”

The Supreme Court has given no indication of when or how it will rule on Gene Campaign's request, which was filed 7 January. If it accepts the case, data from the trial are likely to become public as part of the hearing.

Navigate This Article