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Mustard to be India’s first GM food

GM status is expected to be conferred to mustard that was grown by a Delhi University institution. Back in 2010, Bt Brinjal was cleared but it was rejected by the then environment minister, Jairam Ramesh.

Currently, only Bt Cotton – a non-food GM crop is commercially cultivated in the country. 

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee on Thursday cleared the GM(genetically modified) mustard for commercial cultivation and has sent its recommendations to Environment Ministry headed by Anil Madhav Dave who may either accept or reject it. He also have the option as to not to take any decision until the Supreme Court takes its call on a already pending application.

“The application on GM Mustard presented by Deepak Pental of South Campus (Delhi University) was appraised at the GEAC meeting held on Thursday. The GEAC has recommended the approval of GM Mustard to the environment ministry. Earlier, a sub-committee had appraised the safety document for GM Mustard”, said Amita Prasad, chairperson of the GEAC.

An application for the GM Mustard was filed in December 2015 by Pental, ex-VC of Delhi University and on account of this, a sub committee was set up by GEAC to study the safety aspects for human consumption and has cleared it last year saying it is safe to be consumed. This move has however been vehemently opposed by environmentalists and anti-GM groups.

“We will write against the GEAC’s move to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the environment minister Anil Madhav Dave, requesting them to reject the recommendation of the GEAC”, said Ashwani Mahajan who is the Swadeshi Jagran Manch(SJM)national co-convener.

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