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Transgenic mustard is considered safe
The Technical Subcommittee of the Genetic Engineering Evaluation Committee of India (GEAC) has assessed that genetically modified (GM) mustard called DMH-11 (Dhara Mustard Hybrid 11) is safe for human or animal consumption and for the environment. According to the group formed earlier this year to reassess the biosafety data of the variety, it "does not raise any public health or safety concerns for humans or animals and has the same nutritional characteristics as conventional varieties." The entity also concluded that the introduced proteins are non-toxic or allergenic.
The research that enabled the DMH-11 transgenic mustard was carried out from 1996 to 2015 by the University of South Delhi. This is the first genetically modified (GM) variety of the plant developed by the public sector in China, with funding from the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the National Council for the Development of Milk Products (NDDB). The largest producer and supplier of milk and its by-products, mustards and edible oils from India.
The report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and will be open for public comment by October 5, 2016. The support of the GEAC sub-committee is an important step towards DMH-11 approval, But the final nod to commercial cultivation is still far away. After the public consultation phase the GEAC will decide whether to recommend the commercialization of the variety and from there the transgenic mustard can be approved by the Minister of the Environment whose decision will be final.