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Farm activists allege illegal Bt brinjal farming; approach Centre, state govt for action

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

activists on Thursday alleged that brinjal, a crop, was being grown and sold illegally in a in and they demanded immediate action against it by the state and central government.

"This is a definite biohazard and the government needs to contain it," said a of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic (ASHA) at a press conference here.

The activists said a complaint has been sent to the central government as well as the agricultural department regarding the illegal cultivation of brinjal and a reply was awaited.

Rajinder Chaudhary, a activist working with the Kudarti Kheti Abhiyan in Haryana, said that based on a tip-off, they picked up samples from the field of a in Haryana's Fatehabad area and the the crop tested positive for Cry1Ac protein.

Bt brinjal farming was banned in in 2010 after it was recognised as a health and hazard.

A sample of Bt brinjal has been sent to a private testing laboratory for further confirmation, activists said, adding that samples have also been submitted to the of Horticulture and of in government and central government's regulatory body Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for further probe.

The activists said the farmers were mere victims of the big companies which are luring them into buying the despite the ban.

The activists demanded that the GEAC should ascertain and confirm that illegal Bt brinjal cultivation is indeed happening, and find out the full extent of such cultivation.

In February 2010, the and Forests had placed a moratorium on commercial release of Bt brinjal "till such time independent scientific studies establish, to the satisfaction of both the public and professionals the safety of the product from the point of view of its long-term impact on human health and environment, including the rich genetic wealth existing in brinjal in our country".

The moratorium is still in place and has not been lifted since no evidence of safety has been produced by the crop developers so far, the activists said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 25 2019. 18:50 IST