New Delhi, Feb 9: After facing public outcry against the commercial introduction of the Bt Brinjal, the government on Tuesday, Feb 9 decided to impose a moratorium on the release of the genetically modified (GM) crop.
Announcing the decision, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the decision to put the vegetable in the cold storage for now was a 'cautious precautionary based approach' on concerns of safety.
"It"s my duty to adopt a cautious precautionary based approach and impose a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal till such time independent scientific study establishes to the satisfaction of the public and professional about safety of the product," Ramesh told the media.
He also clarified that this decision does not imply 'conditional acceptance' to the vegetable.
The minister faced fierce protests against the Bt Brinjal in all the national consultation meeting he held over the past several weeks.
Eleven state governments opposed the vegetable while green activists, and farmers took to streets to make their objections loud and clear, sometimes even up to the extent of leading the minister to lose his temper.
The decision, which comes amid the intense resistance from the country, has raised doubts if it is just a move to thwart crisis and turbulence over the issue.