India Supreme Court Allows Genetically Modified Crop BUT ONLY IF IT IS UNDER CODEX ALIMENTARIUS GUIDELINES
[link to www.thedailystar.net] The Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for the government to release the genetically modified (GM) crop, Bt Brinjal, in the country. Following a petition filed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, chamber judge of the apex court, stayed a High Court order that barred the release of the brinjal for eight weeks. Following a writ petition, an HC bench on September 29 ordered the government not to free the crop until an independent research, based on the standards of Codex Alimentarius Commission, is conducted. In 1963, the commission was constituted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation to determine standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods and food production and safety. Bt Brinjal is infused with pest-resistant genes that will see a drastic fall in the use of harmful pesticides, said scientists who have developed the crop at BARI. Additional Attorney General Momtajuddin Fakir said there is no legal bar to freeing the variety. On July 15, BARI applied to the National Technical Committee for Crop Biotechnology (NTCCB), asking to relea
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[link to en.m.wikipedia.org] The Bt brinjal is a suite of transgenic brinjals (also known as an eggplant or aubergine) created by inserting a crystal protein gene (Cry1Ac) from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars. The insertion of the gene, along with other genetic elements such as promoters, terminators and an antibiotic resistance marker gene into the brinjal plant is accomplished using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. The Bt brinjal has been developed to give resistance against lepidopteron insects, in particular the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis)(FSB). Mahyco, an Indian seed company based in Jalna, Maharashtra, has developed the Bt brinjal. The genetically modified brinjal event is termed Event EE 1 and Mahyco have also applied for approval of two brinjal hybrids.