Crop Biotech Update

India's GEAC Recommends Commercial Release of Bt Brinjal

October 23, 2009

India's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the country's biotech regulator, has recommended the commercial release of Bt brinjal in the country. The recommendation came seven years after the approval of Bt cotton, the country's first transgenic crop. Bt brinjal, which is resistant to the dreaded fruit and shoot borer (FSB), has been under research and development and stringent regulatory approval process since 2002.

GEAC has submitted the recommendation to Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forest (MOEF). Ramesh said in a press release that the ministry will make the decision after consultation with scientists, farmers, consumer groups and NGOs scheduled early next year or "after all stake holders are satisfied that they have been heard to their satisfaction." The objective of the consultation, Ramesh noted, is to "arrive at careful, considered decision in the public and national interest."

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