Edible oil industry cheers GEAC nod for GM mustard 

India’s edible oil industry has welcomed the clearance given by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial cultivation of genetically modified mustard seeds. In a statement issued recently, the Extractors Association (SEA) of India said, “India is producing about 7 million tonnes of mustard seeds. SEA, at its first national conclave on rapeseed and mustard held on March 25 this year in Jaipur, had adopted a resolution to actively work for achieving a target of 15 million tonnes of mustard seed production by 2025, with a sub target of 10 million tonnes by 2020, thereby doubling the income of the farmers to accomplish the vision of Prime Minister of India.” The association said it had strongly suggested cultivation of GM mustard crop which can raise productivity by 20 to 30%. The Supreme Court has earlier issued a stay on the release of GM Mustard seed. “In light of GEAC clearance for cultivation, India is one step away from commercial production of its first GM food crop and, hopefully, with all scientific evidence before it, the Supreme Court will lift the stay and pave way for commercial cultivation,” SEA said. SEA said the decision will go a long way in increasing production and productivity of mustard seeds in India. “We also congratulate Prof. Deepak Pental, Delhi University for developing indigenous GM mustard seed suitable for India’s climatic condition.