Field trials of GM Mustard complete, to become first GM crop to be grown commercially if approved

Q.  Field trials of GM Mustard are complete. If approved, it will become the ____ genetically modified food crop to be grown commercially in the country.
- Published on 29 Aug 16

a. First
b. Second
c. Third
d. Fourth

Field trials of GM Mustard are complete and an application from DU’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants is pending before the government.
Once approved, GM mustard will be the first genetically modified crop to be grown commercially in the country.
  • Rajasthan is the country’s top mustard producing state
  • In 2010-2011, of the 48,38,258 hectares under mustard cultivation in the country, 24,84.307 was in Rajasthan
  • Over 40 percent of the total mustard produced in India comes from Rajasthan
  • Application from DU seeks to commercially grow three different varieties of GM mustard- hybrid GM mustard(DMH-11 or Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11) and its two parental lines
  • Former VC of DU Deepak Pental lead researcher championing the GM mustard said that global population was around 1.6 billion in 1900, today it was 7.2 billion.
  • Average life span at birth in India was 23 in 1900; it is now 65. Unless food production gets a technological flip, there will be shortage of food.
  • Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma has said GM mustard increased productivity by 20-25 percent was a false claim. There is no known gene that can increase productivity.
  • He further added that any GM variety known to be as good as the hybrid in which the alliance gene is inserted simply means if the gene makes hybridisation easier, it does not raise crop productivity
  • On related issues of gene flow, contamination and growth of super weeds, results have been unsatisfactory so far.
  • A petition indicated that in 15 years, Bt cotton insect the crop was designed to be immune to has adapted to the new variant. Bt crop is besieged by so many pests that farmers are using more pesticides than before.

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