Thursday, Nov 21, 2002
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Sir, This has reference to your Editorial `Mustard matters' (Nov. 13). Genetically modified (GM) mustard has come to stay, especially in Canada and Poland, leading countries in rapeseed and mustard production.
GM mustard is genetically sound, has high oil content and good quality protein, is free from anti-nutritional factors, is pest-resistant, farmer-friendly and above all high-yielding. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee has taken too long to issue approval for GM mustard whereas other countries are registering stupendous progress. The edible oil from GM mustard is suitable for consumption and the seed proteins are of high quality, suitable for both human and animal nutrition without any side effects.
One complaint against conventional rapeseed and mustard oil in India is inadvertent mingling of `Argemone Mexicana' seed oil, which leads to epidemic dropsy with disastrous effects. The current knowledge on GM mustard rules out this possibility.
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