“No evidence that GM cotton cultivation is declining honey production”- stated by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology in reply to the question in the Rajya Sabha.
It has been observed in the studies conducted in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 that Bt transgenic cotton varieties did not show any negative effect on bees, brooding, pollen and nectar from Apis mellifera colonies in comparison to non-transgenic cotton varieties. GM plants, which are developed by artificial modification of plant genes, generally involve adding genetic material from another organism, to give it new characteristics such as higher yield, herbicide tolerance, disease or drought or improved nutritional value.
India has been cultivating Genetically modified (GM) cotton for twenty years. It contains genes of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is a bacteria. Thus, Bt helps in protecting cotton plants from bollworms and hence reducing the usage of insecticide and increasing the yield of the cotton plant.
Dhara mustard Hybrid (DMH-11) (Transgenic variety) is a genetically modified variety of herbicide-tolerant (HT) mustard developed indigenously. It consists of two alien genes “barnase and bar star” which are isolated from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, the soil bacterium. This bacterium helps in easier breeding of high-yielding commercial mustard hybrids.