- August 13, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Science and Technology
Context : With the soya prices soaring, crossing the ₹1 lakh (a tonne) mark, poultry breeders have written an SOS to the Government, asking for permission to import GM soyameal from the US, Brazil and Argentina
- GM soybean is one of the most widely planted genetically modified plants in the world today. The GM soybean, otherwise called as the Roundup Ready (RR) soybean, was developed by the biotech giant Monsanto and made it commercially available to farmers in 1996.
- It was developed to make the plant survive being sprayed on with the non-selective herbicide, Roundup, which can kill conventional soybean plants.
- GM Soybean was developed by introducing a copy of a gene from the Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4.
- Conventional soybean has a similar gene in its DNA but is sensitive to glyphosate, the active ingredient of the herbicide Roundup.
- With the insertion of the CP4 version of the gene, the GM soybean was able to develop resistance to the Roundup herbicide.
- The rising prices of soyameal has put the poultry industry in a fix as it constitutes about 25 per cent of all the feed needs of a poultry farm
- The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a massive crisis which led to an initial depletion of demand in chicken products owing to false news abut the linkage between the virus and poultry products
Approval Process for GM crops in India:
- The Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying early this month, seeking permission to import about 1.5 million tonnes of soya de-oiled cake/meal extracted from the GM soya seed.
- The Environment Ministry said that it didn’t have any objection (to import soya meal) since it didn’t contain any living modified organism.
- 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. The FSSAI said that anything which is non-food (not consumed by humans) is not under our purview
- The Union government has allowed poultry breeders to import 1.5 million tonnes of de-oiled cake made of genetically modified soya