New Delhi: Greenpeace report says Bt brinjal "Unpredictable, Irreversible and Unnatural" Print E-mail
 Monday June 19, 2006

Greenpeace seeks Pawar's intervention on Bt brinjal

Special Correspondent

Greenpeace signs in to report on Bt brinjal in New Delhi

`Genetically modified organisms unpredictable'

NEW DELHI: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday reportedly assured Greenpeace activists that he would take into account their concerns against giving approval to Monsanto-Mahyco seed company for field trials of Bt brinjal in India.

Greenpeace presented a report entitled "Unpredictable, Irreversible and Unnatural'' on genetic engineering (GE) and stressed the need for intervention in the matter.

"The Minister must assure the nation that he represents the interests of millions of consumers and small farmers and will take a stand against the approval of Bt brinjal next month,'' said Rajesh Krishnan, a GE-Free India campaigner.

A copy of the report was earlier presented to Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

Precautionary Principle
The report said Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were unpredictable and therefore risky.

It suggests that the Precautionary Principle be invoked in the case of GMOs. "In November 2005, scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, abandoned years of research and field trials on GM peas when it showed inflammation of lungs and allergens in mice," the report said.

The campaigners sought to alert Mr. Pawar of the dangers of allowing large-scale field trials of GM brinjal starting next month. "No tests have been done to prove the safety of GM brinjal for human consumption. If approved, Indians will be the first in the world forced to eat a GM vegetable, the safety of which cannot be guaranteed,'' said Mr. Krishnan.

He demanded that the Government assess the health impact of GM crops with a long term study.