Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw slams Bt Brinjal protests

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'Let the farmers decide on Bt Brinjal'
Bangalore, Feb 5: Amid the protests across the country against the commercial introduction of Bt Brinjal, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, an entrepreneur in the field of Biotechnology, has called for an evaluation of the genetically modified crop, that is not restrained by emotions or political interests.

Slamming the attempts to politicise the Bt Brinjal issue, the chairman of biotech major Biocon, said “I have always maintained that Bt crops need to be scientifically evaluated. It is impossible to have a sensible discussion on GM crops when it is hijacked to unsubstantiated emotional levels."

There is a regulatory path for GM crops which aims to establish safety and efficacy over an accepted period and it has been diligently followed by Bt brinjal on the basis of which the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has given its positive verdict, Shaw informed while talking to a news agency.

"If threats and allegations reverse this verdict, it will be a regulatory failing," she added.

After expressing confidence in Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, the Biotech veteran added that it was ultimately left to the farmers "to opt or desist from cultivating Bt brinjal as in the case of Bt cotton."

Before the final decision which is to expected to be taken on Feb 10, Mr Ramesh is holding national consultation programme on the Bt Brinjal, which includes six public hearings across various cities.

Bangalore's turn to speak up on the issue is on Feb 6.

The BS Yeddyurappa government here has already rejected the GM crop.

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