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Genetically Modified (GM) Soybean

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 16, Dec 2021
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Why in News?

There was some relief for the beleaguered poultry industry as Union government allowed the import of crushed genetically modified (GM) soybean, which is a major ingredient of poultry feed.

Genetically modified soybean:

  • The soybean is a species of edible legumewhich is native to East Asia.
  • The soybeans are mainly used asfood to feed livestock but also used to produce many food additives.
  • A genetically modified soybean is a soybean (Glycine max)that has had DNA introduced into it using genetic engineering techniques.
  • In 1996 thefirst genetically modified soybean was introduced to the U.S. market, by Monsanto.
  • In 2014, 90.7 million hectares of GM soy were planted worldwide, 82% of the total soy cultivation area.

Soy meal as Poultry feed:

  • Poultry feed makes up 65% of the cost of productionfor the farmer.
  • Soy meal: It isleft over after oil is extracted from the bean.
  • It is the main protein ingredient in the feed, especially for broilers.
  • Over the last three to four years,soy meal has been available at an average cost of 34 to 36/kg.
  • This month, it shot up to ?96/kg.

GM crop:

  • Only GM crop approved for cultivation in India is BT cotton. 
  • Bt Cottonhas alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
  • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC),under Environment Ministry, is the apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops.
  • Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is theauthorised body to regulate the imported crops in India.

Facts for Prelims:

World’s second-largest refurbished gene bank

  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the world’s second-largest refurbished gene bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi.
  • The National Gene Bank was established to preserve the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations. It has a capacity to preserve about one million germplasm in the form of seeds.
  • This revamped National Gene Bank is an important step towards the conservation of the diversity of indigenous crops in the country.
  • At present, the need of bio-fortified crop varieties has increased. The agri-farmers would be greatly benefited by the new gene bank facilities for germplasm.

The ‘Incel’ Movement:

The ‘incel’ movement, a dangerous online subculture comprising men who identify as ‘involuntary celibates’ and regularly express deeply misogynistic views about women, is slowly becoming a threat to law and order, experts have warned.

  • Incels are a largely online community of men who describe themselves as “involuntary celibates.
  • Men who are part of this movement harbour a deep resentment towards both women and other men who are sexually active.