30 December 2022, New Delhi: An allegation made by opponents of GM in India is that Mustard variety DMH 11 will promote herbicide use, thus favouring MNCs into herbicide manufacturing.
On this, Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Dr. Himanshu Pathak gave a detailed statement on various controversial myths going around through various mediums. He mentioned, “It is clarified that the Bar gene that confers resistance to herbicide glufosinate has been used in GM mustard for two reasons, firstly as a selectable marker in tissue culture during development process and secondly, the herbicide tolerance trait of the Barnase female and Barstar male lines is to be exploited only in the hybrid seed production programme and not in the commercial cultivation of hybrids, as this trait has not been claimed by the applicant in the dossier.”
Accordingly, GEAC has given approval for herbicide use for hybrid seed production only that too after getting expansion of label claim as per extant rules, this has been specially mentioned in the approval.
It must be noted that even without herbicide tolerance, approximately 15,000 tons of technical grade herbicides worth Rs. 7,000 crores, are being used in Indian Agriculture in crops like rice, wheat and soyabean.
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