An expert committee of the Andhra Pradesh government has suggested more studies on the various aspects of the Bt brinjal issue “for more validity and transparency” even as Chief Minister K. Rosaiah appealed to the Centre to defer release of the GM crop for commercial cultivation.

The high-level committee, after a series of deliberations with agriculture scientists, bio-diversity board, farmers, NGOs and other groups, concluded that the Bt brinjal tests conducted and the information disseminated by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) were not sufficient for the commercial release of the product.

The Chief Minister forwarded a copy of the expert committee’s findings to Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and said the “issues raised in the report need to be addressed” before Bt brinjal was released commercially.

“Release of Bt brinjal should be deferred until safety parameters in terms of environment, human and animal health are clearly established,” he said in the letter ahead of the Centre’s crucial announcement on Bt brinjal.