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GM soya cake imports

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.



With rising soyabean prices escalating the poultry industry’s costs, the Centre has allowed the import of 1.2 million metric tonnes of crushed and de-oiled genetically modified (GM) soya cake till October 31, 2021.


Need for:

Soyabean meal is an essential raw material for the poultry industry, but prices have more than doubled over the past couple of months. Besides, protein sources like fish, meat and milk have recorded high inflation.


Status of GM Soybean and soyabean seeds in India:

India allows the import of GM soybean and canola oil. Import of GM soya bean seeds was so far not approved in India.


Concerns/criticisms associated with the latest move:

  1. Environmental activists have raised concerns about the permission given for something derived from a genetically modified plant to enter the human food chain, given that India’s regulatory system has yet to approve GM foods.
  2. Besides, the 1989 rules of the Environment Protection Act applied not just to GM organisms, but also products and substances thereof.


Approval Process for GM crops in India:


What are Genetically Modified crops?

  • A GM or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.
  • GM crop can contain a gene(s) that has been artificially inserted instead of the plant acquiring it through pollination.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that Bt cotton is the only GM crop that is allowed in India? How is it different from Herbicide Tolerant Bt (Ht Bt) cotton? Reference: read this.

Sources: the Hindu.


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