Bt.Brinjal decision not influenced by NGOs, asserts Jairam (Lead)February 26th, 2012 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS
Kochi, Feb 25 (IANS) In the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioning the role of foreign-aided NGOs in opposing use of genetic engineering, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Saturday stressed that the decision to ban commercial use of Bt. Brinjal was not influenced by any NGO.
Answering queries from media persons on his visit here, Ramesh said his decision on Bt Brinjal was based on wide consultations with stakeholders, adding that the use of bio-technology for the crop to be consumed by humans needed to be carefully evaluated.
“No NGO influenced my decision,” said Ramesh, who had decided to put on hold the commercial release of the Bt. Brinjal in February 2010 when he was union environment minister.
Ramesh’s remarks assume significance in the wake of prime minister’s interview to a science journal saying that India must make use of genetic engineering technology to increase agricultural productivity, and NGOs funded by the US and Scandinavian countries were not fully appreciative of the country’s development challenges.
Ramesh said that the decision to put a moratorium on the commercial release of Bt. Brinjal was taken after seven months of consultations with the public, various stakeholders including the states, farmers and NGOs. He said he had written on the issue to the chief ministers of all states.
Bio-technology in agriculture was not merely a scientific issue but “political issue” as it affects human safety, he said.
Referring to his decision on Bt Brinjal, Ramesh said Greenpeace had accused him of propagating the line of genetic engineering firm Monsanto during a public hearing in Bangalore.
“So on Bt Brinjal, since I was directly involved, I can confidently say no NGOs influenced my views,” he said.
The minister said that there was no scientific consensus on Bt. Brinjal, the full protocol on the test has not been completed and there was no independent professional mechanism to instil confidence in the public.
“I did not ban Bt Brinjal. I decided lets put moratorium (on it),” Ramesh said and added he could not have ignored opinion of chief ministers who opposed it.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who supports Bt Cotton, did not support the move on Bt Brinjal, he noted.
“I cannot ignore states. Ultimately in agriculture, we have to take states along with us,” he said.
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- Decision on Bt. Brinjal not influenced by NGOs: Jairam - Feb 25, 2012
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Second Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- No question of lifting moratorium on Bt Brinjal: Ramesh - Sep 27, 2010
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- India says 'no' to Bt Brinjal, pending scientific tests (Roundup) - Feb 09, 2010
- India says no to Bt Brinjal, pending tests (Second Lead) - Feb 09, 2010
- Prime Minister to discuss Bt-brinjal issue - Feb 24, 2010
- Biotechnology should not harm bio-diversity: Ramesh - Apr 19, 2010
- Bt Brinjal moratorium to stay: Ramesh - Feb 24, 2010
- 'Ban on Bt brinjal hurting Indian scientists' - Jan 26, 2011
- No decision taken on Bt Brinjal: Jairam Ramesh - Feb 02, 2010
- Recommendations on Bt Brinjal remain unchanged: Academies - Sep 28, 2010
- Remove misgivings regarding GM crops, says Pawar - Feb 17, 2010
- Bio-technology regulatory authority needed: Jairam Ramesh - Jan 20, 2010
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