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The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has opposed the polutry industry’s demand to extend the deadline for import of genetically modified (GM) soyameal to March 31.

GM Crops:

·         A GM or transgenic crop is a plant that has a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.

·         For example, a GM crop can contain a gene(s) that has been artificially inserted instead of the plant acquiring it through pollination.

·         Conventional plant breeding involves crossing of species of an equivalent genus to produce the offspring with the required traits of each parents.

·         Genus is a class of items such as a group of animals or plants with similar traits, qualities or features.

·         Cross breeding will take a long time to realize desired results and regularly, characteristics of interest dont exist in any connected species.

·         Bt cotton is the only GM crop that is allowed in India.

·         It has alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.

·         Herbicide Tolerant Bt (HtBt) cotton, on the other hand is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.

·         In Btbrinjal, a gene allows the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borers.

·         In DMH-11 mustard, genetic modification allows cross-pollination in a crop that self-pollinates in nature.

·         Status of GM Soyseeds in India: India allows the import of GM soybean and canola oil.

·         Import of gramme soya bean bean seeds has not been approved in India.

·         The main worry is that import of gramme soya bean bean can have an effect on the Indian soya bean bean trade by contaminating non-GM varieties.

·         Approval method for GM crops in India: In India, the genetic engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is that the apex body that permits for business release of GM crops.

·         Use of the unapproved GM variant will attract a jail term of five years and fine of Rs. one lakh below the under Protection Act, 1986.

·         Food Safety and Standards Authority of {india|India|Republic of India|Bharat|Asian country|Asian nation} (FSSAI) is that the authorised body to manage the imported crops in India.