Mark Lynas: India’s GMO mustard will bring cheaper hybrids, not increase herbicide use

| | October 13, 2016
northern photo field mustard farmer casting allahabad a ea f e ac f e d bee
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In an interview with Sanjeeb Mukherjee, Mark Lynas, a reporter with the Cornell Alliance who reports on crop biotechnology around the world, defends the government’s recent decision to pursue approval of mustard.

There is an allegation that use of would lead to increased use of herbicide…  is any substance to this argument?

The trait that has is male-sterility in order to facilitate the use of hybrids, which can increase yield via hybrid vigour. The herbicide tolerance trait was only used in development as a selectable marker for hybrids, and is not intended for use in the field…

. . . .

Do you think large-scale commercialisation of would wipe out … indigenous varieties…of from the country?

No, because cross-pollination is not an issue. Remember: self-pollinates! That is the whole point of this development, to prevent self-pollination via a male sterility trait, thereby facilitating the use of hybrids…

Many people are questioning the need for when existing hybrid varieties give better yield. Your take.

Existing hybrid varieties are … expensive to produce, … is self-pollinating, so it is difficult to … cross-fertilise… in order to produce hybrid vigour. The version … simplifies this process, meaning that hybrid vigour will be available to many more farmers at a better cost…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: GM crop is as safe as any other form of breeding. It’s probably safer: Mark Lynas

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