New Delhi–Denying reports on genetically modified (GM) mustard, the government on Thursday said it has not taken a final call on whether to allow its cultivation, and added it will seek public comments before moving ahead.

There have been reports that the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) established under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has given a positive report on GM mustard and that the government may allow its cultivation soon.

If allowed, it would be the first GM food crop in India, though GM cotton is being grown in India since 2002.

A ministry statement said the reports in a section of media about the GEAC approval to GM mustard were “inaccurate”.

“A section of the media has carried inaccurate reports that the GEAC has granted approval to GM mustard. No final decision has been taken as yet on the issue,” it said.

“The GEAC, in a meeting on August 11, examined the safety document prepared by its sub-committee. The GEAC appraised the safety document, which will be put on the GEAC website to elicit public comments,” the statement read.

The proposal to allow GM crops is opposed by environmentalists and even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been against the idea of allowing GM mustard. (IANS)