Friday, 6th March 2015

No to GM seeds: Supreme Court

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Amid public protests against Monsanto, the Supreme Court has issued an interim order to ban imports of genetically modified seeds, including that of the American biotechnology company Monsanto, on Wednesday.  

The verdict was given on a petition filed by advocate Arjun Aryal on 29 December in response to commercial interest of several companies to import GM seeds. The Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Research Council (Narc), among others, were named the defendants in the writ.

The stay order on import of GM seeds has been directed until 16 January, after which the court will decide whether hearings should continue.

Protest against Monsanto was triggered by an advertisement placed by CG Seeds and Fertilizers in a national daily on 13 December 2013, calling for bulk buyers of Monsanto seeds. The company later said that the advertisement was an internal error and the company no longer deals with Monsanto. 

However, according to the Ministry of Agriculture Development, varieties of Monsanto seeds are already in circulation in the Nepali market.