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Doctors Request PM to Stop Release of GM Mustard into Environment

Genetic engineering in agriculture and food is uncontrollable and irreversible, affecting both current and future generations: Doctors write to PM

Shivam Dwivedi
Genetic engineering in agriculture & food is uncontrollable and irreversible, affecting current and future generations.
Genetic engineering in agriculture & food is uncontrollable and irreversible, affecting current and future generations.

Over 100 doctors from across the country have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to halt the release of genetically modified mustard DMH-11 and its two parental lines resistant to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium into the environment. 

They stated in a letter that they were not opposed to using gene technologies in medicine as long as it was done after extensive testing and consumed by individual choice.

"The GMO-mediated medicines are prepared in contained conditions with no GMO release into the environment and can be stopped or recalled," they said. Farokh E. Udwadia, Ramakant Deshpande, Gopal Kabra, and Rupal M Dalal are among those who have signed.

"However, genetic engineering in agriculture and food is uncontrollable and irreversible, affecting current and future generations. It entails modified heritable material with the ability to procreate and spread in living organisms," they wrote in their letter.

"Once released into the environment, GM mustard and the use of glufosinate will spread. As medical professionals, we believe it is our responsibility to warn about the serious negative effects of herbicide-tolerant GM crops," they stated.

The doctors have called for a halt to all GM crop releases until an independent test laboratory can be established. "We request that all DMH-11 mustard that has been planted be uprooted to prevent the accidental or deliberate spread of a GM HT mustard in the country," they said.

They also demanded an immediate halt to the illegal spread of GM crops and herbicide use.

What exactly is crop gene editing?

GM technologies involve inserting new DNA into a plant's genome to confer desired characteristics on the resulting plant. Gene editing is a group of technologies that change a plant's DNA by moving, adding, or deleting specific pieces of genetic material.

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