Uttrakhand announces ban on Bt brinjal

Last Updated: Friday, February 5, 2010 - 23:59

Dehra Dun: Uttarakhand on Friday became
the first state in the country to announce a ban on Bt brinjal
even before the Centre takes a final decision on the
introduction of the controversial genetically modified crop.

The hill state also asked the Centre to follow suit even
as the final consultation as part of the public hearings in
seven cities convened by Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is
set to be held in Bangalore on Saturday.

"Keeping in view the sensitive nature of Uttarakhand and
its diversities which have to be protected, we have to remain
watchful against crops like Bt brinjal. We have decided to ban
the farming of Bt brinjal in the state," Chief Minister Ramesh
Pokhriyal Nishank said in a statement in Dehra Dun.

Though several states including West Bengal, Bihar,
Orissa and Kerala have opposed the introduction of Bt brinjal,
the Chief Minister`s announcement to ban it significantly came
even before the Centre takes a final decision. Uttarakhand
will be the first state to announce a formal ban.

Ramesh had earlier said a final decision on the
commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal would be taken before
February 10.

The Bangalore meeting is likely to be stormy with
pro-commercialisation and opponents gearing up to make
them heard.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has already
sought deferment of release of Bt brinjal till the issue is
thoroughly examined from all angles taking into account the
views of all the stakeholders and conducting a long-term
research for its bio-safety and its consequent contribution to
food security and farmers` well being.

India’s biotech czar Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw meanwhile
slammed attempts to politicise the Bt brinjal issue and whip
up emotions by opponents of its commercialisation saying the
decision be better left to farmers.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 5, 2010 - 23:59

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