Bangladesh to grow GM Brinjal

Bangladesh to grow GM Brinjal

Bangladeshi scientists have readied the country’s first genetically modified (GM) crop — brinjal infused with pest-resistant genes — that will see a drastic fall in the use of harmful pesticides in the crop.

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) will apply to the National Technical Committee for Crop Biotechnology on Sunday for its release next month, said officials concerned. Once cleared, the GM crop will go through a bio-safety regulatory process and public consultation before its release, they said. Of all vegetables produced in the country, brinjal tops the list in terms of pesticide use. Fruit and shoot borer (FSB), considered the most devastating pest in South and Southeast Asia, ravages brinjal fields and can cause loss of the crop by as much as 70 percent unless a heavy dose of pesticide is used. Farmers are found to apply pesticides of up to 50 times in a cropping season of brinjal against a recommended dose of 25, making the vegetable highly toxic.

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Once the crop is released, Bangladesh will join a group of 28 countries that grow GM crops. Though it will be the country’s first home-grown GM crop, consumers in Bangladesh have long been exposed to GM food through consumption of imported GM soybean oil.

If Bt brinjal is approved for release, Bangladesh will be the first in the region to grow a GM food crop. The release of Bt Brinjal was stalled in India amid outcry by green groups, while anti-GM activists damaged the GM crop in experimental areas in the Philippines. But none of the two countries slapped any ban on Bt Brinjal. India imposed a temporary moratorium on Bt Brinjal’s release while research on the GM crop reached an advanced stage in the Philippines.

Bt-Brinjal’s Damages Liver and Immunity

The consumption of genetically modified brinjal can make you sick. If eaten regularly, it can adversely hit the immune response of the body, cause liver damage and lead to reproductive disorders.

This has emerged from toxicity studies done by Mahyco in rats fed on Bt brinjal for up to 90 days, but the company either suppressed these facts or misrepresented them while submitting data to the regulator – the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC).

Based on this data, the GEAC approved the commercial release of Bt brinjal, but the approval was subsequently put on hold by environment minister Jairam Ramesh in February 2010 in India.

Article source :Daily star





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