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GM Mustard: Pros and Concerns



  Sep 06, 2023

Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard: Benefits and Concerns


Benefits:

Boost to India's Oilseed Security: One of the primary benefits put forth by proponents of GM mustard is the potential to enhance India's oilseed security. With the adoption of GM mustard, India could reduce its dependence on imports and increase domestic production.
 
Extensive Research & History: According to scientists like Deepak Pental, the genes (barnase-barstar) used in GM mustard have been found to be environmentally friendly, and there haven’t been any reported adverse impacts since its use began in 1998 worldwide.
 
Regulatory Oversight: The GM crop's biosafety regulation is administered by the Central Environment Ministry, indicating a rigorous oversight mechanism. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), under the Union environment ministry, has approved the environmental release of transgenic mustard hybrid DMH-11.
 
Development of New Hybrids: The introduction of GM mustard could pave the way for the development of new and more efficient hybrids.
 
Economic Impact: A boost in domestic production of mustard can have positive ramifications for farmers and the economy, providing a reliable source of income and reducing the trade deficit from oilseed imports.
 

Concerns:

Environmental Impact: The main concern raised against GM mustard is its potential environmental impact. Critics argue that the cultivation of GM mustard could adversely affect biodiversity, harm non-target organisms, and lead to an increase in the use of herbicides.
 
Health Concerns: While not explicitly mentioned in the article, one of the usual concerns with GM crops is the potential health implications for consumers.
 
Dependency on Proprietary Seeds: Introducing GM crops might lead to farmers becoming dependent on proprietary seeds, which could have economic implications for them.
 
Non-Scientific Arguments: Proponents like Pental have expressed frustration at what they perceive to be non-scientific arguments being used to delay GM mustard's approval. However, it highlights a broader societal debate where public sentiment and scientific research might not always align.
 
Regulatory and Legal Delays: The ongoing court cases and regulatory scrutiny, like the status quo directive from the Supreme Court, create uncertainty for both farmers and the broader agricultural sector.
 
In conclusion, like many technological advancements in agriculture, GM mustard presents both significant opportunities and challenges. The decision to move forward with its cultivation requires a balanced consideration of its potential benefits and risks, informed by rigorous scientific research and inclusive public discourse.
 
In conclusion, mustard, a staple in Indian agriculture and cuisine, stands at the crossroads of tradition and modern biotechnological advancement with the introduction of GM varieties. The debate around GM mustard underscores the complexities of merging science with societal needs and environmental concerns. As India grapples with decisions about GM mustard, the broader implications for agricultural productivity, environmental health, and economic security will be keenly watched by stakeholders. Harnessing the potential of GM crops while ensuring sustainable and safe agricultural practices will be crucial for the future of India's food security.
 
For further clarity and detailed insights on the subject, stay updated through our dedicated channels and website:Telegram, Instagram, Facebook,www.sriramsias.com. Your understanding and awareness are our utmost priority


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