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Significant turn

Significant turn

In a major development, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the regulator for GM crops, on Friday recommended the commercial use of genetically modified (GM) mustard. If the government approves this recommendation, it will pave the way for this seed to be India's first GM food crop. The Indian government had attempted to the same with Bt brinjal in 2009 but was met with stiff opposition from activists. GM Cotton is the only crop which has been allowed in India, and the results have been spectacular as cotton production has increased nearly 2.5 times since Bt hybrids were first planted in 2002. The global debate on GM food crops has been raging on for years. Advocates of this crop are claiming that GM mustard's approval for commercial cultivation would increase our mustard yields and bring down the India's edible oil import bill. This lobby argues that these crops have

The global debate on GM food crops has been raging on for years. Advocates of this crop are claiming that GM mustard's approval for commercial cultivation would increase our mustard yields and bring down the India's edible oil import bill. This lobby argues that these crops have superior resistant to pests and diseases, resulting in the lower use of pesticides. In its poll manifesto before the last general elections, BJP said that GM crops would not be allowed without proper scientific investigation. And it is on the question of testing and scientific research that has proven to be a stumbling block. Many civil society organisations and groups associated with RSS have opposed this move over safety concerns. They believe that the level of testing is not rigorous enough and that once it enters the market, the crop could have a deleterious impact on human health and environment. There is also a case pending before the Supreme Court on the commercialisation of GM Mustard. The Centre has told the court that it would not go ahead with it until it receives

Many civil society organisations and groups associated with RSS have opposed this move over safety concerns. They believe that the level of testing is not rigorous enough and that once it enters the market, the crop could have a deleterious impact on human health and environment. There is also a case pending before the Supreme Court on the commercialisation of GM Mustard. The Centre has told the court that it would not go ahead with it until it receives its assent.

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