Recently Dupont Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta had planted Bt / GM Corn / maize for trials in Pakistan to obtain commercial approval for this biotech crop. Now the trials have been destroyed as required by current regulatory framework.
To date no proper law exists to regulate GM crops in Pakistan at the provincial level. As directed by Federal Ministry of Law, after 18th constitutional amendment in Pakistan, provinces should be dealing with this issue and not federal government. Thus a law is required to be passed in all the four provinces immediately otherwise pursuing Biotech or GM crops in Pakistan would raise legal issues in the future.
To-date the Seed Act amendment, Plant Breeders Rights bill are pending since last many years. Our law makers and scientists need to open public debate on this issue and do two things before any further GM trials in Pakistan:
Pass Biosafety laws relevant to GM crops so that the process is properly regulated and has legal backing.
Let people of Pakistan decide whether they want GM crops or not by debating this in committees at provincial legislatures and local bodies.
It is time to end propaganda by the MNCs and scientists should give views and perspective not recommend or oppose GM crops because that makes their neutrality as suspect.