Farmers, green groups welcome moratorium on Bt BrinjalFebruary 9th, 2010 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) Farmers’ groups and environmental activists around the country Tuesday welcomed the moratorium on Bt Brinjal announced by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Environmental activist group Greenpeace, which headed vociferous anti-Bt Brinjal campaigns across the country for the past year or so, called Ramesh’s decision to place an indefinite moratorium on the release “a good step”.
“The moratorium is a good step towards charting the path for sustainable agriculture and food security for our country. We welcome the minister’s decision not to allow Bt Brinjal to contaminate Indian agriculture,” said Jai Krishna, Greenpeace’s sustainable agriculture campaigner.
Greenpeace, however, held that Ramesh’s solution was not long-term and called for stringent monitoring measures.
“He must reassure the nation that the moratorium will not lead to a backdoor entry of Bt Brinjal or the 41 other GM food crops which are in different stages of trial in the country. A strong message should be sent out making GM developers liable for any accidental or illegal releases,” Jai Krishna said.
Green think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) also supported Ramesh’s decision.
CSE Director Sunita Narain said: “We are talking of genetically modifying, for the first time, a vegetable that is a common food of nearly daily use in most of our homes. The brinjal is used for human consumption directly. In many parts of the country, it is even eaten uncooked. We, therefore, need to be extremely cautious in our review of this food.”
She pointed out that all other GM crops across the world are either eaten in processed form (soya) or used after industrial refining (corn or rapeseed oil).
Kavitha Kuruganthi from the GM Free India campaign and Kheti Virasat Mission in Punjab said: “He (Ramesh) has acted very sensibly and the moratorium is a very positive development. But what he did, the regulatory authority (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) should have done. This shows how the entire regulatory regime our country needs to be recast.”
Kolkata-based scientist Anshuman Das, who led the protest there against the introduction of Bt Brinjal here, said: “The decision will indeed bring a sigh of relief to scientists, members of civil society groups and farmers across India who protested against the possible release of the crop.”
“It is indeed good news that the central government has ultimately decided to stop the commercial release of BT Brinjal. But it has also raised apprehensions that government might clandestinely pass it later,” said Das, secretary of the Research Communication and Services Centre.
Farmers from Orissa and Karnataka, both major producers of brinjal, were also happy.
“It is a sensible decision on the part of the central government,” Jagdish Pradhan, the president of the Pashchim Orissa Krushijibi Sangha farmers’ group, said.
“The decision is in the interest of both farmers and consumers. We hope that Jairam and the government will stick to this decision,” said Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, president of the Karnataka Raitha Sangha, another farmers’ association.
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Second Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- Greenpeace says moratorium on Bt Brinjal not a long-term solution - Feb 09, 2010
- Decision on Bt. Brinjal not influenced by NGOs: Jairam (Second Lead) - Feb 26, 2012
- Bt.Brinjal decision not influenced by NGOs, asserts Jairam (Lead) - Feb 26, 2012
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- India says 'no' to Bt Brinjal, pending scientific tests (Roundup) - Feb 09, 2010
- Decision on Bt. Brinjal not influenced by NGOs: Jairam - Feb 25, 2012
- No GM crop trials without states' consent: Jairam Ramesh - Mar 09, 2011
- No question of lifting moratorium on Bt Brinjal: Ramesh - Sep 27, 2010
- Baba Ramdev talks tough on BT brinjal issue - Jan 31, 2010
- Uncommon furore over common brinjal - Feb 09, 2010
- No decision on Bt Brinjal release before February (Roundup) - Oct 15, 2009
- India is sharply divided over introduction of Bt Brinjal - Feb 09, 2010
- 'Ban on Bt brinjal hurting Indian scientists' - Jan 26, 2011
- Chief ministers influenced Ramesh's Bt Brinjal decision - Feb 09, 2010
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