You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

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


Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Farm activists on Thursday alleged that Bt brinjal, a genetically modified food crop, was being grown and sold illegally in a farm in Haryana 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 representative of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) at a press conference here.

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

Rajinder Chaudhary, a farm 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 farmer in Haryana's Fatehabad area and the the crop tested positive for Bt Cry1Ac protein.

Bt brinjal farming was banned in India 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 Director General of Horticulture and of Agriculture in Haryana government and central government's regulatory body Genetic Engineering 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 crops 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 Ministry of 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.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

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