POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Oct 16, 2009 AT 00:53 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 16, 2009 01:21 IST

A brinjal festival at Delhi Haat: File Photo

Should or not the government allow the commercial cultivation of genetically modified Bt brinjal?

In keeping with his earlier pronouncements on the subject, characteristically, the environment minister Jairam Ramesh has decided to put up the report of the Expert Committee, that formed the basis of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) decision of October 14, on his ministry's website for seeking comments until December 31.

During January and February 2010, the minister says, he will have a series of consultations in different places with scientists, agriculture experts, farmers’ organisations, consumer groups and non-governmental organisations.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has said that the government should not clear any genetically modified food crop till the time India has strict provisions for labelling.

Bt brinjal will be one of the few crops which are used for human consumption directly and not processed or used in other foods.

Check out the full controversy about Genetically Modified Seeds or GM Seeds here

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Oct 16, 2009 AT 00:53 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 16, 2009 01:21 IST
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Daily Mail
Feb 14, 2010
03:27 PM
Bt. Bringal is in lot of limelight nowdays , if you are someone who cares for environment, who cares for poverty stricken farmers then you must keep this forum topic alive, after all its we the biotech professionals who should be the first one to show our concern towards this biotech fiasco. We can only advocate the promotion of BT brinjal by showcasing the benefiting results it can produce by its diligent cultivation. We can help people get over the delusive apprehensions they are bearing regarding bt brinjal .
The introduction of this variety will benefit thousands of farmers across the country. Besides promising savings to farmers, Bt brinjal will also benefit consumers. The Bt protein is specific only to the target pest and there are enough toxicology studies showing that it has no impact on humans. On the contrary, by reducing pesticide sprays, it makes brinjal safer to consume.The approval to market the first genetically-modified food crop in India should be a stepping stone for further developments in this field for achieving reliability in agriculture and food sector. GM crops are more resistant to pests and adverse climate changes. The success of biotechnology will depend on the awareness the government can create among common people. Farmers should be made aware of the advantages of shifting to this system. A special expert cell can be constituted under the agriculture ministry to disseminate information and clarify the doubts of farmers and consumers. Messages should be given in regional dailies explaining the concept of genetically modified food crops. Extensive awareness programmes hold the key to success after all……
noida, India
Oct 19, 2009
08:01 AM
This was the first one about Bt Corn by Cornell Univ researchers, published in the Year 1999 in Nature.
Sydney, Australia
Oct 19, 2009
07:57 AM
Genetically Engineered Corn May Harm Stream Ecosystems
Year 2007.
Another one
Then the first one by Cornell University published in Nature
Year 1999.
Toxic pollen from widely planted, genetically modified corn can kill monarch butterflies, Cornell study shows
The Cuban view point
Extracts from the above web site

What disadvantages and risks to human health and the environment are posed by transgenic foods?

EDUARDO FREYRE: As we know, these “foods” are products derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in which the genome is manipulated. The question is what will happen, in the long term, to the behavior of the organism in the ecosystem, given that systems constant changing.

On this and other matters there is a great deal of uncertainty, as is recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), independent researchers (those not associated with transnational corporations) and in reports on experiments.

With good reason it’s feared-perhaps not in the short run, but in the medium or long term- that these foods will cause allergies, toxicity, immunologic difficulties, cancer, infertility and even endocrinal dysfunctions. That’s not to mention the possibility of transgenic contamination, which puts wild and cultivated plant species in danger. We have to ask whether we’ll be able to control the natural and social gene flow.

and the last few lines he says

"In short, it has been demonstrated across the island-and even the authorities at the World Bank have praised us for this-that with large-scale organic or agro-ecological agriculture it is possible to solve the dilemmas we’ve produced".

There will be another view point totally on the consumption point, High intensity agriculture point of view that Bt crops are good.
Sydney, Australia
Oct 17, 2009
11:01 AM
The educated consumers of Urban India are totally ignorant about the way farmers lace the farm produce with most dangerous "chemicals" which are used as pesticides. Many pesticides banned in most advanced countries are available in India and is used liberally by farmers, spraying the vegetables almost once in two days. Even "banned pesticides" are available "under the counter" to regular customers. The amount of poison being consumed along with food produce could be highest in India. Bt Brinjal can not be as harmful as the insecticide laced vegetables eaten by Indians.

The anti-Bt Brinjal lobby is sure to be lead by the powerful insecticide companies whose business would be affected by BT technology. India should develop more and more "genetically modified crop" to reduce starvation of poor Indians. If given a choice between life long starvation and suspected ill effects of eating genetically modified food, the Indian poor is sure to chose a "full tummy" of genetically modified food.
Bangalore, India
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