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[genet-news] CONTAMINATION & REGULATION: Mayoco told to deposit Bt brinjal seed stock to Indian government



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  DEPOSIT BT BRINJAL SEED STOCK TO NATIONAL BUREAU: GOVT TO MAHYCO

SOURCE: The Times of India, India

AUTHOR: Tamil News Network, India

URL:    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Deposit-Bt-brinjal-seed-stock-to-national-bureau-Govt-to-Mahyco/articleshow/5686186.cms

DATE:   15.03.2010

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DEPOSIT BT BRINJAL SEED STOCK TO NATIONAL BUREAU: GOVT TO MAHYCO

NEW DELHI: Government on Sunday said Mahyco, the developers of Bt brinjal, has been asked to deposit the seed stock with the National Bureau of Plant Genetics Resources to prevent any potential leakage and contamination till its safety is proved.

?There is no chance of Bt brinjal making a backdoor entry through leakages of its seeds till it is cleared by an independent regulatory body,? Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha.

In response to a query, he said the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has asked the Bt brinjal seed developers to deposit the seeds.

He said some state governments, NGOs and sections of the scientific and farming communities have expressed apprehensions on the safety of Bt brinjal and its long-term impact on human health and environment.

They have called for extreme caution as Bt brinjal is the first genetically modified food crop to be introduced in the country, the minister added.

Public consultations were also organised at seven locations -- Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore -- during the last two months to gauge public opinion on the controversial issue of introducing Bt brinjal in the country.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  PUBLIC HEARING ON BT. BRINJAL, ENTRY OF BT. BRINJAL SEEDS, ITS COMMERCIAL CULTIVATION

SOURCE: Press Information Bureau, India

AUTHOR: Press Release, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India

URL:    http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=59564

DATE:   15.03.2010

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PUBLIC HEARING ON BT. BRINJAL, ENTRY OF BT. BRINJAL SEEDS, ITS COMMERCIAL CULTIVATION

MEETING AT PRIME MINISTER?S OFFICE ON BT. BRINJAL

There is no chance to make backdoor entry of Bt brinjal seeds by leakage of seeds till it is cleared by an independent regulatory body; As of date, there is no commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal in the world. Bt brinjal Event EE-1 has been first developed in India and is being field tested in Bangladesh and Philippines. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) in its meeting held on 9.2.2010 has decided that the seed stock of Bt brinjal available with the developers should be deposited with the National Bureau of Plant Genetics Resources to prevent any potential leakage and contamination during moratorium. There is no proposal to invoke a liability clause as provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules made therein provide for punitive action in case of non-compliance or violation of statutory provisions.

A meeting was convened by the Prime Minister?s Office on Bt. Brinjal. The Prime Minister held consultations on 24.02.2010 to discuss the recent decision on Bt brinjal and the role of biotechnology in food security. It was attended by Shri Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution; Shri Prithviraj Chauhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology; Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development; and Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests (Independent Charge).

It was agreed that biotechnology is an important option for higher agricultural productivity and ensuring food security. At the same time, it must be ensured that it has no adverse effects on human and animal health, and bio-diversity. It was also agreed that the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee will address the concerns for resolving all scientific issues relating to Bt brinjal.

Some of the State Governments, NGOs and some sections of the scientific and farming communities have expressed apprehensions on the safety of Bt brinjal for its long-term impact on human health and environment; and have called for extreme caution as Bt brinjal is the first genetically modified food crop to be introduced in the country. The Government had organized public consultations at seven locations namely Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore during January ?February 2010 to gauge public opinion on the controversial issue of introducing Bt. brinjal in the country.

In the absence of scientific consensus and opposition from the State Governments and others, the Government on February 09, 2010 decided to impose a moratorium on commercialization of Bt brinjal till such time the concerns expressed by the public, NGOs, scientists and the State Governments are addressed adequately.

The Government?s decision to impose a moratorium on commercial cultivation of Bt. brinjal approved by the GEAC is based on the concerns expressed by some of the State Governments, NGOs and some sections of the scientific and farming communities on the safety of Bt brinjal from the point of view of its long-term impact on human health and environment. Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini University of Caen, France has reviewed M/s Mahyco?s data on Bt brinjal. The report ?Effects on Health and Environment of Transgenic Bt brinjal ?concludes that Bt brinjal cannot be considered as safe for human consumption or release into the environment. The review was commissioned by Greenpeace, an international NGO.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shri Jairam Ramesh in a written reply to a question by S/Shri D. Raja, R.C. Singh, S.Anbalagan, and B.K. Hariprasad in Rajya Sabha today.




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