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'No cultivation of Bt Brinjal till clearing of health issues'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Government will not allow commercial cultivation of Bt Brinjal till independent studies establish that the Genetically Modified food crop does not impact human health, the was today informed.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said "no" in her reply to a written question on whether the government proposes to impose a moratorium on commercialisation of Bt Brinjal in the country.

"The government has imposed a moratorium on commercialisation of Bt Brinjal event EE-I on February 9, 2010 till such time independent scientific studies establish to 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," she said.

According to the minister, some of the state governments, NGOs and some section of the scientific and farming communities have expressed apprehensions on the safety of the Bt Brinjal and have called for extreme caution as it is the first GM crop to be introduced in the country.

"There is no proposal to lift the moratorium imposed by the Ministry on commercial release of Bt brinjal event- EE-I for the purpose of conducting lab tests or field trials," Natarajan said.

Besides, the issue of GM crops is subjudice in the Supreme Court, she said.

Natarajan also said the Genetically Engineering Appraisal Committee has not received any proposal either for the purpose of research or commercial release of genetically modified fertilisers.

First Published: Mon, August 26 2013. 19:25 IST