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Moves on GM crops will trigger mass protests in India

Friday, June 16, 2017

Subject

The outlook for genetically modified crops in India.

Significance

The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) in May approved a genetically modified (GM) variety of mustard for commercial production, potentially reigniting the debate about producing GM crops, which (except for cotton) India currently bans. If the environment ministry acts on the approval, GM mustard would be given a general licence for distribution, and improved production of mustard seed would fill a large gap in domestic supplies of vegetable oils.

Impacts

  • GM crops could help alleviate the current stagnation of agriculture.
  • Deeper involvement of large multinationals in India’s agriculture sector will be a particularly potent rallying cry for protesters.
  • Illegal cultivation of GM crops will continue.
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