Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said the government would hear the views of those favouring and opposing the introduction of Bt brinjal before taking a final decision.
“There are arguments in favour of introduction. There are arguments against introduction,” he said.
Mr. Ramesh’s comments came hours after the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the biotechnology regulator, approved the commercialisation of genetically modified Bt brinjal.
Mr. Ramesh slammed Greenpeace, a voluntary organisation, for spreading “wrong information” about the commercialisation of genetically-modified Bt brinjal.
Opposing the introduction of Bt brinjal in India, Greenpeace has said India is the centre of origin and diversity of brinjal and if Bt brinjal is approved, this would be the first time in the world that a genetically-modified crop is allowed in its centre of origin/diversity, risking bio-diversity.
“They have spread wrong information. I condemn it. I am for transparency. There is a way to conduct discourse,” Mr. Ramesh told reporters here.
If it gets the nod, Bt brinjal would be the first genetically-modified food in India.
Keywords: Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, Bt brinjal, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, GEAC, biotechnology regulator, genetically-modified food, All India Kisan Sabha