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Approval for Genetically Modified Mustard in India

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23 February 2023, New Delhi: The Government has approved the environmental release of Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard hybrid DMH-11 and its parental lines during the 147th meeting of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) on 18 October 2022 for its seed production and testing as per existing ICAR guidelines, conditions imposed by the GEAC while recommending the environmental release of GM mustard hybrid DMH-11 and its parental lines; and other extant rules/regulations before commercial release.

The hybrid DMH-11 has been tested against the check varieties Varuna and RL-1359 during Biosafety Research Level Trials (BRL) I and II, where it gave a 28.15% high yield over Varuna during 2010-11 to 2014-15.  Field trials for three years were conducted to assess the impact on human health and the environment as per the stipulated guidelines and applicable rules. Extensive studies carried out on toxicity, allergenicity, compositional analysis, field trials and environmental safety studies of GM mustard lines vs. their non-transgenic comparators have provided evidence that the GE mustard hybrid DMH-11 and its parental lines are safe for cultivation and for food and feed use. Visitation of bees to the transgenic lines is similar to the non-transgenic counterparts during the BRL-I and BRL-II trials conducted as per the protocols approved by Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) and GEAC.

Few representations have been received on the environmental release of GE mustard hybrid DMH-11, however, the issue of the environmental release of GM Mustard is under adjudication before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

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