BT brinjal technology is safe, says Dr. Gosal of Punjab Agriculture University

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Ludhiana, Oct. 20 (ANI): Contrary to apprehensions of voluntary organisations over the ill effects of Bt technology for brinjals, a distinguished professor with the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) has said that genetically modified brinjal (Bt brinjal) is not harmful and added that it's a safe technology.

Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Additional Director Research Agriculture in Punjab Agriculture University, said the technology would produce vegetables with much less insecticide level.

"When insecticide is put on plants, it kills insecticide and also harmful for the consumers but this technology will kill the insects but not harmful to the humans. There is fear in the mind f people about the harmful effects of the technology but the vegetables grown through this technology will have less quantity of insecticides," says Dr. Gosal of Punjab Agricultural University.

The commercialisation of genetically modified Bt brinjal approved by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the biotechnology regulator on Wednesday (October 14), has met with serous concerns by various organisations.

India allowed commercial cultivation of Bt cotton in 2002, sparking protests from activists who contended that genetically altered crops are a health hazard, spoil soil texture and above all, harm the environment.

The vegetable consumed by the masses will be the first genetically altered food crop to be commercially launched in India, which has so far permitted commercial cultivation of only one genetically engineered crop-bacillus thuringiensis or Bt cotton.

Bt brinjal is a transgenic vegetable, which carries a gene called 'Bt' from a bacterium, which releases toxin to kill fruit and shoot borer insects. By Karan Kapoor (ANI)

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