Sunday, January 3, 2016

GEAC to meet tomorrow to discuss GM mustard

By PTI | 3 Jan, 2016, 11.25AM IST
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NEW DELHI: The much-debated issue of GM mustard will be discussed tomorrow at a meeting of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the apex body for the regulation of such food products.
The Environment Ministry has received a proposal for commercial cultivation of a genetically modified (GM) hybrid variety of the mustard plant, developed by the Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP).“The GEAC meeting is scheduled for January 4. Deepak Pental, developer of the GM mustard seed at the Delhi University, will make a presentation on the subject,” a senior government official told PTI. 
This is the first meeting of GEAC on GM mustard. Several meetings will be held before taking a final call on the issue, the official added. 
Already, there is stiff opposition by NGOs against GM mustard, which is seen to jeopardise traditional varieties and leave farmers dependent solely on private companies for such seeds. 
Former Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss and several farmer groups such as Bhartiya Kisan Union, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and the Right to Food Campaign have made representation to the government opposing GM mustard. 
Accusing green activists of indulging in “baseless” opposition to GM mustard, biotechnology industry body ABLE-AG has said the regulator, GEAC, should at least be allowed to do a scientific review of the technology before firming up its mind. 
According to ABLE-AG, GM mustard — which has the potential of increasing yield by 25 per cent — is required in India as the country is still dependent on edible oil imports. 
India’s rapeseed-mustard seed production was 63.09 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June).
This is the first proposal that has come up before the NDA government after the previous government had put a moratorium on commercial cultivation of Bt Brinjal in 2010. Currently, Bt cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation. 
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CAIT WROTE TO SALMAN KHAN ON KHANMARKETONLINE CONTROVERSY
Taking Khan Market controversy a step further, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has shoot up a communication to Actor Salman Khan today urging him to withdraw the name of Khan Market from his web portalkhanmarketonline.com which he has announced on his birthday on 27th December,2015.
In its communication sent to Salman Khan, the CAIT has underlined the importance of Khan Market as a premium commercial market of not only Delhi but even at national and international level. Citing Khan Market in itself as a Brand, the CAIT has said that this status and “Goodwill” of Khan Market has not been earned overnight but has taken years of sweat, toil, effort, enormous investments and extensive resources put in by traders of Khan Market in the last 65 years and backed by the faith and patronage of customers from all strata of society in India including the elite, international visitors, embassies and tourists of Delhi.
It further said that “Khan Market” has become a brand in itself even globally which is a matter of much pride to not only the traders of Khan Market but even for the trading community of entire Delhi. Such is the brand and repute of “Khan Market that even Government Websites refer to it as “Classy and posh, Khan Market is a favorite of the expat and diplomatic community.” You will perhaps agree that if such practice is allowed then someone may use URLs like Rashtrapatibhawanonline or any other similar name of national and international importance-added CAIT.
The Traders of Khan Market are conducting their business activities by enjoying the branding of Khan Market since several decades. A name by custom/practice/usage over a long period of time by a group of persons becomes an Intellectual Property right of that Group of Persons is an integral part of Principle of Natural Justice. Accordingly, the first lien of using the name “Khan Market” lies with traders of Khan Market only.
It also said that besides the brand and goodwill anything that you may sell online under Khanmarketonline would also be construed as things sold by traders of the actual and physical Khan Market and would lead to confusion and misunderstandings in the minds of the consumer. Sales discounts that you may offer on your products may lead to confusion and embarrassing situations for traders and consumers.
The CAIT felt strongly that the name of Salman Khan’s portal may not only be construed as deceptive and misleading for traders but also affects consumers.It has demanded that the name of Khanmarketonline may be changed to some other name in order to assuage the rights and feelings of the traders of Khan Market whose generations have given their lives for earning such goodwill for their own market.

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