Bt eggplants (brinjal) in India


Since 1999 GENET collects and distributes information on various topics in the field of genetic engineering in agriculture, food production and health. With this "Special Topic: Bt Brinjal in India" GENET aims at providing an overview about the debate on development and approval of Bt brinjal in this country, based on our archives.

2015-02-02 |

India: Maharashtra nod for Genetically Modified crop field trials

The Maharashtra government has given a “no objection certificate” for the field trial of five Genetically Modified (GM) crops brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea and cotton in the state.

2014-10-28 |

India: Govt allows field trials for GM mustard, brinjal

The environment ministry has allowed field trials of two varieties of genetically modified (GM) brinjal and mustard, almost 18 months after the previous government ordered a freeze on such tests

2014-08-28 |

India: Concerns about BT Brinjal

There is a raging debate in the country about BT brinjal which is poised to become India’s first GM food if the biotech industry has its way. Its entry is resisted by scientists and civil society groups that question its safety.

2014-08-07 |

India: Government drops enough hint to allow confined field trials of GM crops

A day after allaying members' concerns over genetically modified crops in Parliament, the government on Wednesday dropped enough hint that it may eventually give its nod for 'confined' field trials of certain varieties of GM crops including rice, brinjal, chickpea, mustard and cotton.

2014-03-05 |

India Is Capitulating to the GM Biotech Industry & GMO Crops Destroying Agriculture

Can genetically modified (GM) food crops be kept out of India? Things seemed positive when, as Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh put a moratorium on GM eggplant (BT Brinjal). However, he has now been replaced. Veerappa Moily, India’s Oil Minister, is now also India’s new Environment Minister. Oily has approved field trials of 200 GM food crops on behalf of companies like Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer and BASF. Monsanto’s shares surged by 77 percent as soon as Moily’s decision was announced.

2013-06-21 |

India field trials cleared for genetically modified crops

The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, under the environment ministry, has given clearances to a few companies and research institutes to conduct field trials for genetically modified rice, wheat, maize, castor and cotton. This is a welcome development after a dreary period during which the ministry announced a moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal after it had been cleared via extensive evaluations by around 200 scientists and experts from over 15 public and private sector institutions.

2013-06-10 |

Ground reality: Bt brinjal too can create super weeds

Gene flow from a transgenic plants has remained a contentious issue. In the absence of experimental data, the task to pinpoint exactly as to how much is the potential risk, especially in centres of diversity, becomes daunting. The GM industry has often used lack of experimental data to show there is no cause for concern. It has happened in India, in the case of Bt cotton, and more recently when the moratorium on Bt brinjal came in 2010. John Samuels of the Novel Solanaceae Crops Project, Penzance, Cornwall, UK, has raised some valid concerns, based on available data, in an excellent paper published in Trends in Biotechnology

2013-05-22 |

Indian government hastily tables Bill on biotech regulation in Parliament

the Ministry of Science and Technology drafted the NBRA Bill. But it was soon withdrawn following severe criticism during public consultation. In 2009, the ministry drafted another version of the Bill, this time titled Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill. Contents of the draft were kept under wraps. In February 2010, the science ministry suffered a setback when the environment minister imposed a moratorium on Bt Brinjal and other GM crops in the country. This started a silent war within the government. There was discomfort in the Prime Minister’s Office too. But with the UPA term ending in 2014, a communication came from PMO to the science ministry, asking it to speed up the process of tabling the Bill.

2012-12-21 |

Indian Council of Agriculture Research begins probe against GM scientist who ‘filed false patent claim’

The Indian Council of Agriculture Research has begun a formal investigation against one of its top researchers. The probe covers various allegations including false claims he made about a patent application relating to genetically modified brinjal. The scientist, Dr K.C. Bansal, claimed to have filed three patents for a novel gene discovery, including one on transgenic brinjal in 2007, based on which he was given the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award by the council for 2007-2008. Investigations revealed that while two applications had been filed, no application relating to Bt brinjal patent had been filed till July 16, 2009 when he was given the award.

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