Jairam Ramesh faces ire of voluntary groups over BT Brinjal

Posted By: Staff
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Kolkata, Jan 14 (ANI): Environmental activists opposing commercial cultivation of BT Brinjal raised slogans against Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh here on Wednesday.

Ramesh was in Kolkata to attend the first meeting of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the regulatory body for approving genetically modified crops.

Hundreds of protestors protested before the Bose Institute, where the national consultations were held on introducing commercial cultivation of BT Brinjal.

Ramesh said that a final decision was pending on BT Brinjal.

"This is true that GEAC which is a statuary body, they have recommended that the production of BT Brinjal should be commercialized. But this is also true that the recommendation was made on October 14, 2009. But this is also true that till now Central government has not taken any final decision on the BT Brinjal," he added.

He further said that the Central Government was making efforts to get the feedback from seven states that produce nearly 80 percent of Brinjal.

"I have written letters to Chief Ministers from West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Maharashtra. These states produce nearly 80 percent of brinjals. I have received a reply from the state chief of Bihar and I hope to get answers from other state chiefs also," said Ramesh.

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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