Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Biotechnology : Threat to bio-diversity?

Biotechnology is a "important tool" to ensure food security, but should ensure that there were no adverse effects on human health and animal biodiversity, parliament was informed Monday.

"There is general agreement within the relevant ministries that biotechnology is an important tool for increasing productivity of agriculture and ensuring food security," said Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh during question hour in Rajya Sabha.

"At the same time, ensure that there were no adverse effects on human and animal health and biodiversity," he said.

He said that the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) calls attention to resolving all issues related to Bt eggplant scientific "address.

Answering a question on whether the two members and a special guest to the GEAC was in disagreement with the approval given for the commercial production of Bt eggplant in the country.

Ramesh admitted it was true.

In this regard, noted that "the concern that the Bt eggplant could contaminate conventional crops and reduce crop genetic diversity of eggplant, because of gene flow.

However, Ramesh said, environmental safety studies conducted have not shown adverse effects of Bt eggplant

At the same time said that based on the opinions of various stakeholders during the public consultations organized by the Ministry established a moratorium on the commercialization of Bt eggplant by independent scientific studies on the safety of the product to determine from Given the point of their long-term effects on human health and the environment, including the genetic wealth of the rich eggplant that exist in our country. "