No decision taken on Bt Brinjal: Jairam Ramesh

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (ANI): Clarifying doubts over the government's stand on the production of Bt Brinjal, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said on Tuesday that no decision would be taken on the issue till after February 10.

Ramesh said the consultation process is still on and a final decision would be taken next week.

Ramesh's stance is at variance with the stand taken by Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas strongly in favour use of Bt Brinjal. Thomas described genetic engineering as a developing science.

"The opposition is merely propoganda of Left Parties. The use of BT Brinjal should not be opposed just because it comes from the west," Thomas said.

"These are just propagandas of the Left parties. They opposed even the computers and mobile phones. The world has become a big market, you should never oppose anything just because it is coming from America or Europe," he added.

Farmers across the country have been protesting genetically modified Bt Brinjal, and have asked the government reverse its decision.

Some scientists, academics, members of civil society groups and farmers across India undertook a one-day fast on Saturday over the issue

Consultations are being held in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said the view of the expert committee should be final. If after all precautions they have come to the conclusion that this is beneficiary, we should not oppose it," he added.

Last year, Ramesh had promised additional consultations with farmers" groups, NGOs, scientists and other stakeholders before the release of Bt Brinjal.

Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a gene cry1Ac from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into brinjal. A US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and a Maharashtra-based Indian company market Bt Brinjal in India. (ANI)

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