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A GM Mustard hybrid yields 28% more than a national check: Rajya Sabha minister

GM mustard hybrid Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11) yielded 28 percent more than the national check, and 37 percent more than the zonal check, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

In confined field trials (BRL-I and BRL-II) at multiple locations, Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11) was tested against national check Varuna and zonal check RL1359 for three years (2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15). Sushil Modi asked Singh about DMH-11, which showed approximately 28% more yield than the national check and 37% more than zonal checks.

According to Sushil Modi, GM mustard has a higher yield per hectare than different high-yielding mustard varieties.

Sushil Modi asked Singh why GM Mustard wasn’t classified as a herbicide-tolerant crop variety despite its presence of the ‘bar’ gene. Singh said, “In hybrid seed production, the Bar gene is responsible for herbicide tolerance, and its use is approved and claimed by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to ensure that hybrid seed is genetically pure by killing male fertile plants in female rows in seed production plots only, not during commercial cultivation.”

According to Singh, field trials were done to evaluate GM mustard’s impact on human health, the environment, the honey bee population, and the production of honey. Per the stipulated guidelines and rules, field trials have been conducted for three years (two years for BRL-II and one year for BRL-II) to assess the impact on human health and the environment.

Singh said, “Extensive research has shown that mustard (B juncea) lines Varuna bn 3.6, EH-2 modbs 2.99, and DMH-11 are safe to cultivate and for food and feed. This includes studies on toxicity (acute and subchronic), allergenicity, compositional analysis, field trials, and environmental safety. In the BRL-I and BRL-II trials conducted over three growing seasons at multiple locations per protocols approved by the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) and GEAC, bees visited transgenic lines the same way they visited non-transgenic ones.”

Singh replied to Sushil Modi’s question about GM cotton’s impact on honey production in the country, “No such evidence has been reported.”. However, studies conducted during 2018-19 and 2019-20 showed that Bt transgenic cotton cultivars don’t negatively affect bees, brood rearing, pollen and nectar hoarding in Apis mellifera colonies.”


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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