- November 30, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has opposed the polutry industry’s
demand to extend the deadline for import of genetically modified (GM) soyameal to March 31.
- A GM or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.
- For example, a GM crop can contain a gene(s) that has been artificially inserted instead of the plant acquiring it through pollination.
- Conventional plant breeding involves crossing of species of the same genus to provide the offspring with the desired traits of both parents.
- Genus is a class of items such as a group of animals or plants with similar traits, qualities or features.
- Cross breeding can take a long time to achieve desired results and frequently, characteristics of interest do not exist in any related species.
- Bt cotton is the only GM crop that is allowed in India. It has alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
- Herbicide Tolerant Bt (Ht Bt) cotton, on the other hand is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.
- In Bt brinjal, a gene allows the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borers.
- In DMH-11 mustard, genetic modification allows cross-pollination in a crop that self-pollinates in nature.
Status of GM Soyseeds in India:
- India allows the import of GM soybean and canola oil.
- Import of GM soya bean seeds has not been approved in India.
- The main fear is that import of GM soya bean will affect the Indian soya bean industry by contaminating non-GM varieties.
Approval Process for GM crops in India:
- In India, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops.
- Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the authorised body to regulate the imported crops in India.