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Crop Biotech Update

Hurdling Barriers to Bt Brinjal Commercialization

May 7, 2010

Will Bt brinjal get through the regulatory hurdle in India? Can educational programs be implemented to help Indian farmers learn how to use this technology? A.M. Shelton of the Department of Entomology, Cornell University, raises these questions in an article The long road to commercialization of Bt brinjal in India published in the journal Crop Protection. He noted the importance of this crop which has shown to provide superior control of fruit and shoot borer (FSB) and in significantly reducing the amount of insecticides used against FSB.

Shelton analyzed the Bt brinjal process that is short of commercialization in India.  "It is clear",  Shelton explained, "that the road to commercializing a GM product has had, and will continue to have, far more twists and turns, than in other types of governments, such as China, which has decided to embrace food products produced through biotechnology to feed its citizens." In an epilogue he said that political pressure from those opposed to biotechnology rather than by critical scientific and balanced judgments of the technology seemed to influence Ministerial decisions.  

Email the author at ams5@cornell.edu for additional information.