Bt brinjal developers may face legal action

In a meeting held in the capital on June 20, the authority decided to “proceed legally against Mahyco, Monsanto and all others concerned to take the issue to its logical conclusion.” The minutes of the meeting has been made public on Thursday.

Besides the two agro-biotech companies, University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharwad; Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi were involved in bt brinjal development.

Last year, the centre has imposed an indefinite moratorium on bt brinjal commercialistion.UAS Dharwad had clarified to the NBA as well as to Karnataka State Biodiversity Board that it did not violate any law or NBA provisions.

The university obtained as many as seven permissions from the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation under the central department of biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Approval Committee under the union environment ministry.

“I don't remember receiving any legal notice from the NBA in the last two months. We have not violated any NBA provision. The bt brinjal work was given to us by the government of India,” PM Salimath, director of research at the UAS Dharwad told Deccan Herald.

The Dharwad scientists genetically modified six local varieties – Manjari Gota, Udupi Gulla, Malapur local, Kudachi local, Rabkavi local and GO-112 – to make them more resistant against fruit and shoot borer, a common pest.

“More than 95 per cent of fruits were found to be marketable compared to 30-40 per cent in non-bt varieties. Overall 49.02 to 74.9 per cent yield advantage over respective non-bt variety besides reduced spray of insecticides and higher benefit to cost ratios was
noticed,” he said.

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