GM Mustard should not go the BT Brinjal way
Activists who are ideologically opposed to genetically modified crop technology have unleashed a virulent campaign to stall the GM Mustard cultivation
Seven-and-a-half years ago, BT Brinjal, developed by two public agricultural universities, was approved for commercial cultivation by the genetic engineering approval committee (GEAC), a statutory body. BT Brinjal is inherently resistant to the notorious fruit and shoot borer (FSB) pest and therefore produces a marketable crop without the large number of chemical sprays that the farmer would have otherwise had to use. However, as fate would have it, this technology was held back from the Indian farmer through a “spoken order" by the then environment minister, Jairam Ramesh who, in the year 2010, succumbing to pressure from activists, overruled the science-based recommendation of GEAC, and imposed a moratorium on its commercialization.
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