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Mustard plantations (Pixabay)

NEW DELHI, 3 September,2016: The Government of India will soon announce its decision about permitting the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) mustard – which could be its first transgenic food crop and “ideology” will not be a factor here, said a minister.


Mustard seeds (Pixabay)


Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said India would also come up with other GM food as its population increases and arable land shrinks.

He also says, India will know the decision about their view on GM Mustard pretty soon.

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He points out the fact that, Indian scientists are good researchers and will do their job well. This way Indian money will stay in the country itself.

Obstacles

Indian population and BJP who object to reliance on technology developed mainly by Western countries, stand their ground about their opposition to lab-altered food.


Mustard flower (Pixabay)

This could throw a spanner in the works for GM mustard, which recently got technical approval from a panel of government and independent experts after multiple reviews of crop trial data.

“You must have different parameters for what you eat and what you only come in contact with, like cotton,” Dave said. “(But) eventually it is the doctor who gives the medicine. Ideology has no connection with this.”

Dave, a river conservationist and amateur pilot, said the government’s aim is to make regulation on GM crops foolproof and that people’s views will be taken into consideration before taking any final decision.

After some farmer groups complained about high rates, the Modi government is at crossroads with Monsanto over how much the world’s biggest seed company can charge for the GM cotton seeds it supplies.

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India has also proposed that Monsanto, which dominates India’s GM cotton seed market, share its technology with local firms. Monsanto has said it is contemplating leaving India, its biggest market outside the Americas, and recently pulled an application to sell next-generation cotton seeds, Reuters found out.

Dave brushed aside concerns that Monsanto’s withdrawal of the cotton variety will hurt Indian farmers as existing seeds become vulnerable to pests.

“Indian scientists are capable enough to meet the requirement of Indian farmers, in every crop,” Dave reaffirms his faith in Indian scientists.


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Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?

"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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