A Siddha medical practitioner here has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court praying that the approval granted by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) on October 14 last year for environmental release of Bt brinjal in the country be declared null and void.

In his petition, filed through counsel M. Radhakrishnan and P. Sundararajan, K. Thiruthanikachalam submitted that the committee appeared to have taken the final decision that Bt brinjal was safe for environmental release within six days of receiving an expert committee report.

The hurried decision was taken ignoring the strong protest by P.M. Bhargava, special invitee, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to be a part of the committe, against introduction of the variety.

Dr. Bhargava had felt that it was not proper to accept international guidelines for safety assessment and biosafety assessment, which should be based on national guidelines. He had opined that a minimum of one month should be given, followed by a debate, for which international experts should be invited.

The GEAC’s recommendation had been made without application of mind.

Arbitrary

The approval was arbitrary, unfair and unreasonable.