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GM Free India, Kheti Virasat oppose entry of BT brinjal
Chandigarh | Tuesday, Jan 13 2009 IST
 
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The Coalition of GM Free India and Kheti Virasat Mission today demanded that Mahyco's Bt Brinjal should not be released in India as a biosafety data by a French scientist has proved that Bt Brinjal is unsafe for human consumption. The French study team led by Prof Gilles-Eric Sralini of Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), France concluded that Bt brinjal release into the environment may give a serious risk for human and animal health.

This analysis comes close to the next meeting of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), India's apex regulatory body for Genetically Engineered crops and foods, scheduled for January 14. In this meeting, GEAC is reported to be looking at the results of the two year large scale trials of Bt Brinjal in different locations across the country.

''Prof Seralini's analysis points out that the interpretation of results in many cases by Mahyco is not scientifically acceptable'', Kavitha Kuruganti, Member-Secretary, Coalition for a GM-Free India stated at a media conference here today.

The analysis also raises serious concerns about India being dumped with an obsolete technology since Bt Brinjal has anti-biotic resistance marker genes, he added.

Bt brinjal produces a protein which can induce resistance towards at least Kanamycin, a well known antibiotic, he claimed. This is likely to have disastrous implications for developing countries like India which are struggling with communicable diseases' burden, he stated.

Mr Kuruganti said the longest toxicity tests which are for only 90 days do not assess long-term effects like the development of tumours or cancers.

Mr Umendra Dutt of the Kheti Virasat Mission, spearheading a movement for a GM-Free Punjab and for ecological farming as the way forward said, ''Prof Seralini's analysis clearly shows that there are pointers to problems with Bt Brinjal's safety within Mahyco's own data.

Mr Duttu who was also present at the press conference said Bt Brinjal would not have been allowed for even large scale trials in India. ''We have always been saying that as ecological alternatives exist for pest management, there is no need for Bt Brinjal in this country, more so since we are the centre of origin for brinjal''.

-- (UNI) -- 13DR12.xml

 

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