Genetically Modified (GM) crops | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
Genetically Modified (GM) crops: Current Affairs
Genetically Modified (GM) crops
Relevance: Environment / Economy
Context: In several regions, farmers are sowing GM crops of maize, soyabean and mustard, which are not approved by the government for their cultivation till now.
What are GM crops?
- A GM or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology. Bacillus thuringiensis is widely used in agriculture for the control of pest attack.
- It is a soil bacterium which is inserted into crop DNA to get the desired genes in plant like weather resistance or pest resistance. Presently, Bt cotton is the only GM crop that is allowed in India. It has two alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
Regulatory authority and laws:
- In India, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body that allows for commercial use of GM crops and their cultivation.
- In 2002, the GEAC had allowed the commercial use of Bt cotton. Under the Environmental Protection Act,1986, use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh.
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