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Final call on Bt brinjal by Feb 10: Ramesh

Press Trust of India  |  Jammu 

Close on the heels of winding up his public hearings across the country to gain consensus on use of Bt brinjal, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today said he would take a final call in the matter by February 10.

"No decision has been taken on commercial genetically modified brinjal so far in view of ongoing public hearings being completed so far in six cities.

"On February 7, I will hold a meeting in Bangalore on the issue and by February 10, I will take a final decision whether the GM food should be commercially produced," Ramesh told reporters here.

The Minister, who has so far held meetings in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh has been met with strong opposition from scientists, farmers and activists against the proposed decision to introduce the Bt brinjal in the market. 

Ramesh is on a day's visit to the city on the occasion of International Wetland Day being celebrated today.

"Genetically Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) which is a scientific body in my ministry has given approval for Bt brinjal's commercial production.

"... But let me once again say clearly and categorically that the final decision rests with the Centre and as the minister concerned I have to take decision on GEAC recommendations," said Ramesh.

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First Published: Tue, February 02 2010. 18:52 IST