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What is GM Mustard?

  • DMH-11 is an indigenously developed transgenic mustard. 

  • It is a genetically modified variant of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) mustard.

  • DMH-11 is a result of a cross between Indian mustard variety ‘Varuna’ and East European ‘Early Heera-2’ mustard.

  • It contains two alien genes (‘barnase’ and ‘barstar’) isolated from a soil bacterium called Bacillus amyloliquefaciens that enable breeding of high-yielding commercial mustard hybrids.

  • Barnase in Varuna induces a temporary sterility because of which it can’t naturally self-pollinate.

  • Barstar in Heera blocks the effect of barnase allowing seeds to be produced.

  • “Bar gene” maintains the genetic purity of hybrid seed.

What are the Safety Concerns associated with DMH-11?

  • The safety of genes used in the creation of the technique Barnase, Barstar and Bar is being questioned.

  • Effectiveness of “Bar Gene” is under question as per herbicide tolerance is concerned.

Way forward

  • Given the overwhelming political and technical consensus, the government needs to approach the issue of HT crops transparently and robustly with an emphasis on precaution.

  • More scientific trials

  • Better awareness

  • Rigorous monitoring is needed to ensure that safety protocols are followed strictly

  • Enforcement must be taken seriously to prevent the spread of illegal GM crops.

  • Further, Environmental impact assessment should be carried out by independent environmentalists.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: GM Mustard UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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