Swaminathan hails government's move to stop Bt brinjal cultivation

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Ludhiana, Feb 11 (ANI): Eminent agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan commended government's decision to defer the cultivation of the genetically modified (GM) Bt brinjal in the country.

He expressed these views on the sidelines of the convocation of the Punjab Agriculture University here on Wednesday.

Swaminathan said that studies should be conducted on this new variety of eggplant before giving a green signal for it mass cultivation.

"Bt brinjal could not be released now because there is so much of public fear and also the Chief Ministers of about 10 States, have said that they don't want it. Therefore, take a little time. Let this also be studied... Bt brinjal be studied in detail and at the same time develop a mechanism which inspires public confidence," he added.

On Tuesday, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh announced that the Government had deferred the launch of Bt brinjal by contending it would adopt a cautious approach and wait for more scientific studies on the impact of the new variety of eggplant.

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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