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May 13, 2010

India - No Immediate End in Sight to Regulatory Ban on BT Brinjal (GM Eggplant)

On 13 May 2010 the Business Standard (India) reported that the moratorium on BT brinjal, a gene-modified (GM) eggplant was not going to be lifted anytime in the near future.  This conclusion was made at the first meeting of the Genetic Engineering and Appraisal Committee (GEAC) since the February 2010 government ban on BT brinjal.

At this meeting, GEAC addressed two important issues.  First, plans were made to set up an expert panel to review regulatory approval processes.  This will be made up of a group of independent scientists which could include:  M S Swaminathan, Pushpa Bhargava, G Padmanabhan, M Viyayan, Keshav Kranthi and Madhav Gadgil.

Second, the GEAC has taken steps to stop the illegal distribution of BT brinjal seeds. This involves a "memorandum of understanding" with the developing company Mahyco.  Scientists with access to BT brinjal at agricultural universities will be required deposit any Bt brinjal seeds with the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR). 

The next meeting of the GEAC is scheduled in Hyderabad on 9 June 2010.

For more see original article: "Ban on Bt brinjal not ending soon," Business Standard (India), 13 May 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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