IILM College of Engineering and Technology

Let’s Know about Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

Genetic engineering has a wider application in the genetic modifications, and it paved the way in Biotechnology for the production of the first genetically modified plant ever produced in the year 1982. Interestingly it was an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. The first field trails occurred in France and the USA in 1986, using tobacco plant engineered for herbicide resistance. In 1987, the concept of Bacillus thuringiensis resistant plant comes into light. This was a revolutionary approach, in which genetically modified plants showed insect resistance in natural conditions. Now a day, several GM crops are available in developed countries. It is claimed by the breeders and farmers that there is a considerable increase in the production of major crops such as Soyabean, Maize, cotton etc.
The scientific community across the globe has proven that there is no/very less risk for human health. However, several societies/NGOs and communities have objected to GM Crop on grounds including environmental impact, food safety etc.

Currently, India has the world’s fourth largest area for GM crops, which surpasses China’s 3.0 million hectares (mh) and equaling that of Canada’s 11.6 mh. However, GM Cotton is the only genetically modified crop allowed in the country. In the year 2014, farmers in India planted a total area of 11.6 mh under transgenics, the first three spots were left for Argentina (24.3 mh), Brazil (42.2 mh) and the US (73.1 mh). Significantly, the entire 11.57 mh GM crop area in India during the 2016-2017 year consisted mostly of Bt cotton, most of which (about 96%) is now covered by Bt hybrids.

India has not witnessed any new entrant in the sector of GM based crop varieties after Bt Cotton and a fleeting appearance of Bt Brinjal. Many GM varieties are under different stages of development in different labs in India, but yet to mark a formal release. GM Mustard is the new GM crop in the block that has been cleared by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the biotech regulator in India under the Ministry of environment and forests with no any biosafety or public health concerns. However, beating the apprehensions and flaws, there still looks many ways to understand and grow our knowledge with respect to Bt crops.

#Department of Biotechnology #B.Tech Biotech #IILMCET #GMcrops

Dr. Abhinav Kumar
Assistant Professor- Biotech

Ms. Akansha Singh
Student Biotech 1st year

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