Deregulation of GM crops
- April 9, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Deregulation of GM crops
Context: Anil Ghanwat, President of Swatantra Bharat Party and a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee on Farm Laws demanded the government must deregulate all GM Crops and varieties that have been approved in other developed countries.
- As many States are reluctant in giving consent for field trials of GM crops, the government must deregulate Bt brinjal and GM mustard, which have been already approved by the GEAC as well as the herbicide tolerant varieties of cotton and other crops.
- The decision will make India self-sufficient in oilseeds and pulses which are being imported.
- Moreover, permitting the adoption of this technology in India will give freedom to farmers to sow the seed they prefer and the technology they wish to adopt.
- In conventional plant breeding, species of same genus are crossed to provide the offspring with the desired traits of both parents.
- Genetic engineering aims to transcend the genus barrier by introducing an alien gene in the seeds to get the desired effects.
- The alien gene could be from a plant, an animal or even a soil bacterium.
- Bt cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India. It has two alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
- HtBt, on the other, cotton is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.
- Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Environmental Protection Act ,1989.
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- It is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
- GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). Presently, it has 24 members and meets every month to review the applications in the areas indicated above.
To know about GM Food Crop Regulation, refer: https://optimizeias.com/gm-food-crops-regulation/