Vandana Shiva, activists spread misinformation about GMO mustard up for deregulation in India

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Personalities that aspire to be cult figures often resort to hyperbole and lies and Vandana Shiva, a philosopher and leading anti-GMO campaigner, has done exactly this in her piece, GMO in my mustard.

In 1993, our group (at the Tata Energy Research Institute) observed that Indian mustard types crossed with east European types produce hybrids that are more productive. We tested many conventional breeding methods of hybrid seed production, but the best results are with the GM method.

The GM technology used in mustard has been used extensively for hybrid seed production in rapeseed. In spite of 18 years of safe consumption of GM rapeseed oil and meal, GM mustard containing the same three genes that were used in rapeseed has been rigorously tested for all the biosafety parameters in India. Final test reports and a request for deregulation will now be submitted to the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).

Related article:  Anti-GMO 'zombie myths': Influential enviro leaders such as Paul Ehrlich spread propaganda

While the GEAC takes a decision, expect massive lies and gross misrepresentations from GM technology bashers. Ms Shiva’s article is one such attempt. Here are some of the fallacies and half-truths in her piece.

Ms Shiva is deliberately confusing a “GM-based pollination control mechanism” for producing hybrids with ill-conceived “Terminator technology”. If rapeseed hybrids are based on “Terminator technology” and there is a UN resolution against it, how come Canada, US and Australia are using it so extensively?

Yes, GM mustard uses a gene conferring resistance to herbicide Glufosinate. But in GM technology-based mustard hybrids, Glufosinate will be used only for hybrid seed production and not in the farmers’ field as mustard has no serious weed issues.

Plant breeding, conventional and GM, is essential for low-input, high-output agriculture in the 21st century. Use of GM technology in developing productive hybrids in mustard is a step in that direction.

Read full, original post: The GMO in your mustard is good

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