New Delhi: The Government on Tuesday said it would not allow the cultivation of Bt Brinjal, a genetically modified version of the common vegetable, till an “independent scientific study” satisfactorily establishes its safety. is
“It’s my duty to adopt a cautious precautionary based approach and impose a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal till such time independent scientific study establishes to the satisfaction of the public and professional about safety of the product,” said Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
"Impose a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal till such time that independent scientific studies establish satisfaction of both public and professionals, the safety of the product from the point of view of long-term impact on human health and environment," Ramesh said at a press conference.
He said the opposition to the genetically modified vegetable from 11 state governments, green activists and farmers during his public hearings over the issue at a number of cities around the country.
Ramesh clarified that the moratorium in no way implied a "conditional acceptance" of Bt Brinjal.
Opponents to the introduction of the genetically modified food crop are principally worried on two counts -- one, what happens if there is accidental cross-pollination between Bt and ordinary brinjal? Will the modified gene get into the normal brinjal? What will the consequences be?