Bt eggplants (brinjal) in India


Since 1999 GENET collects and distributes information on various topics in the field of genetic engineering in agriculture, food production and health. With this "Special Topic: Bt Brinjal in India" GENET aims at providing an overview about the debate on development and approval of Bt brinjal in this country, based on our archives.

2010-10-19 |

Holes in risk analysis of Bt brinjal

If the authorities in India read David Andow’s report on Bt brinjal they would have to put a permanent moratorium on the genetically modified vegetable. The US entomologist is one of the recognised experts on the environmental risks of GM crops, and his just-released report - Bt Brinjal: The scope and adequacy of the GEAC environmental risk assessment - reveals how limited the regulator’s appraisal of the developer’s safety data was.

2010-09-27 |

Indian Environment Minister trashes science academies’ report on Bt brinjal

Endorsing views of an advocacy group that alleged that the report was plagiarised, Mr Ramesh said, “I had asked the academics to give the broader scientific view. But it is nothing else but the views of one scientist (Anand Kumar) which I had already kno wn much before the moratorium was placed on the release of the Bt brinjal.” Clearly unhappy over the report which he had sought from the country’s leading academic institutes, the Minister said, “I do not want the six top science academics to tell me Anand Kumar’s view. I already know that.”

2010-09-10 |

Indian Environment Ministry to retain control over approvals of certain GMOs

The Environment Ministry - which had been at the centre of a major controversy earlier this year following its decision to put the introduction of a genetically-modified variety of brinjal on indefinite hold - may still be able to exercise a lot of control in the proposed new regulatory framework for approval and use of biotechnology products in the country. [...] The final approval on commercialisation of a product will have to be granted [...] by either Agriculture Ministry, or Environment Ministry, or Health Ministry.

2010-08-25 |

Don’t be guided by emotions but science on Bt brinjal, IFPRI Director says

There is an urgent need to assess the potential of genetically modified crops as these are nutrient-enriched, drought- and disease-resistant varieties, an expert said here Tuesday at an international conference. Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, director of International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, said: “On the Bt Brinjal issue, everybody should be guided by science, not by sentiments or emotions.”

2010-08-20 |

For food security, GM crops not the only route says Indian Environment Minister

For the first time since suspending Bt brinjal, a decision that pitted him against the biotech industry, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh shared a platform with the industry’s leaders who are seeking to reconnect with him. Ramesh, however, set the record straight: “For food security, genetically modified crops are not the only route but they are an important component. The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill is a huge step forward for the integrity of environmental assessment process, safety, efficacy and public interest.”

2010-08-06 |

Monsanto-backed Mahyco plans India’s first GE wheat and rice

Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co., an Indian seed breeder partly owned by Monsanto Co., plans to develop the country’s first genetically modified wheat and rice in the next three to five years, a company official said. The company is working on various traits of genetically altered grains that can withstand drought and salinity, Usha Barwale Zehr, the chief technology officer at Mahyco, said in a telephone interview yesterday. India’s government in February rejected the nation’s first gene-modified food, brinjal, or eggplant, after protests by farmers.

2010-07-29 |

Foundation of Biotechnology Awareness and Education urges Indian government to lift moratorium on Bt brinjal

Bangalore-based Foundation of Biotechnology Awareness and Education (FBAE) has asked the government to lift the indefinite moratorium imposed on commercial introduction of Bt brinjal in the country by the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF). [...] “With such uncertainty revailing about GM crops, the companies wanting to invest in bio technology in agricultural sector would be hesitant to do so,” Seetharam Annadana, Technology Lead, Syngenta India, told FE

2010-07-26 |

Bt brinjal needs much further testing in India

The details available in the public domain so far do not make for a thriller or the agro-apocalypse scenario that is getting people worked up from the Lok Sabha to the gram sabha level in India. So what is it about Bt brinjal that bothers the farmers, scientists, policy makers and the Bt crop producers alike? The one-word answer to that question is ”impact”. The impact of introducing a genetically modified food crop in the agro-ecosystem has neither been independently quantified nor calibrated.

2010-07-21 |

Indian parliamentary panel studies pros and cons of GM food

Even as the fate of Bt brinjal hangs in balance, the parliamentary standing committee attached to the agriculture ministry has started examining the pros and cons of introducing genetically-modified food in India, with a panel of experts coming out in favour of setting up a regulatory mechanism to monitor their implications. [...] While stressing on the need to have a regulatory mechanism, the experts welcomed the new law seeking the setting up of the National Biotechnology Authority.

2010-05-27 |

Seeds of doubt in Delhi - On the Bt brinjal controversy

Caught in the middle of a fierce domestic debate, the Indian government is wavering over the introduction of GM aubergines – and the rest of the world is watching closely. ”Chief ministers of almost all the major aubergine-producing states declared that they would not allow the genetically modified seeds into their territory, even if the central government gave its approval.”

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