India’s biotech regulator GEAC approves commercial cultivation of GM mustard | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India’s biotech regulator GEAC approves commercial cultivation of GM mustard

Oct 26, 2022 01:53 PM IST

The clearance for GM mustard by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), India’s state-run biotech regulator, means the crop is fit for environmental release

India’s state-run biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), has approved genetically modified (GM) mustard for commercial cultivation, people aware of the development said on Wednesday, citing minutes of the regulator’s meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government is now expected to take a political call on whether to allow commercial cultivation of GM mustard in India. (File Photo/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government is now expected to take a political call on whether to allow commercial cultivation of GM mustard in India. (File Photo/REUTERS)

An expert committee on GM mustard under GEAC has accepted a scientific dossier by Deepak Pental, a former Delhi University vice-chancellor, paving the way for the clearance. The Indian council of agricultural research (CAR) approved post-environmental release studies on pollinators, like honey bees, clearing the last hurdle.

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The regulatory clearance for GM mustard means the crop is fit for environmental release, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government is expected to take a political call on whether to allow it.

In 2009, the then environment minister in United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Jairam Ramesh placed India’s first GM food, Bt brinjal, under a moratorium despite regulatory approval. India is looking to increase oilseeds output under its Aatmanirbhar or self-sufficiency campaign.

People familiar with the matter said GM mustard is now an approved product unless the government stops its release.

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