What are GM crops?

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What are GM crops?

  • GM Crops are plants used inagriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering
  • GM is a technology that involves inserting DNA into the genome of an organism.
  • To produce a GM plant, new DNA is transferred into plant cells.
  • Usually, the cells are then grown in tissue culture where they develop into plants.
  • The seeds produced by these plants inherit the new DNA.

BT Cotton

  • It is the only GM crop under cultivation in India.
  • BT cotton was first used in India in 2002.

BT Brinjal

  • The GEAC in 2007, recommended the commercial release of Bt Brinjal
  • It was developed by Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company) in collaboration with the Dharward University of Agricultural sciences and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
  • The initiative was blocked in 2010.

GM Mustard:

  • In 2017, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee recently recommended the commercial approval of the GM Mustard crop.
  • If approved by the Environment Ministry, GM Mustard will be the first genetically modified food crop to be cultivated in India.
  • GM Mustard was developed by Prof. Deepak Pental and his team at Delhi University

Rationale behind hybridised mustard variety:

  • India imports Rs.60, 000 crore worth of edible oils every year. There is an urgent need to reduce dependence on imports and raise domestic crop yields of mustard, which in turn raises production of edible oils domestically.
  • To improve yields, hybridisation is a potential technique as it is successfully demonstrated with many other crops.
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