Genetically Modified crops

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With the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, an Environment Ministry body that evaluates genetically modified crops, approving transgenic mustard for environmental release, a key hurdle remains before farmers can cultivate it: Environment Minister Anil Dave’s approval, under a procedure set down by the UPA government.

What is a GM crop?
A GM or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.

Concerns associated
The technology of genetic engineering is an evolving one and there is much, especially on its impact on human health and environment that is yet to be understood properly. The scientific community itself seems uncertain about this.

In fact, globally, there is a clear view that GM crops must not be introduced in centers of origin and diversity. India also has mega biodiversity hotspots like the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats which are rich in biodiversity yet ecologically very sensitive. Hence it will only be prudent for us to be careful before we jump on to the bandwagon of any technology.

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