‘Traditional mustard output adequate, don’t need GM mustard’

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Rajasthan, India’s top mustard producing state on Friday, expressed its reservations over commercial introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) variety of mustard, saying output from the traditional varieties was adequate.

Rajasthan’s Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini said it did not want to be dependent on any company for seeds.

“Production of mustard is quite good in our state. We are getting 32-33 quintals per hectare from the traditional varieties and oil content (recovery) is also between 40-42 per cent. The output from the traditional varieties is adequate and it is highly nutritious. Then why do we need GM seeds? We do not want to disturb our parental seeds,” Saini told reporters here.

He said that the state did not want to be dependent on any GM seed company. “East India Company came here, sold many items to us and then we had to be dependent on it. Farmers will have to buy seeds every year.”

In May this year, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the regulator of Environment Ministry, cleared the commercial release of genetically modified Dhara Mustard, leaving it to the government to take a final call.

If approved, Dhara Mustard will be the first GM food crop to be cultivated in India.

–IANS

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