Indian farmers grow illegal insect-resistant Bt eggplant to control destructive pests, as government lags on approval

Market Bangladesh with brinjal eggplant
Bt brinjal is a GM crop designed to help farmers reduce pesticides and increase yields.

Farmers in Haryana and experts fear widespread contamination of genetically modified (GM) brinjal or eggplant in the state with a farmer accused of cultivating Bt brinjal in Fatehabad district in the northeastern part of the state, adjoining Punjab …. GM brinjal isn’t legal in India.

[T]he Haryana agriculture department is getting the state’s brinjal crop tested to determine whether it is GM-free at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) ….

The use of GM crops is contentious …. Still, with India not allowing the use of GM brinjal, the developments in Haryana are a clear violation of the law.

On April 25, the GM-free coalition …. said in a statement that it collected samples from a Fatehabad farm …. The samples tested positive for Bt Cry1Ac protein. Brinjal is genetically modified by inserting …. Cry1Ac that comes from a soil bacteria …. to make the plant resistant to some pests.

Related article:  Opposition to India's biotech crop rules grows as pro-GMO protestors distribute illegal cotton to farmers

Jeevan Saini, the farmer accused of growing Bt Brinjal, said he has been growing it since 2017. “I was looking for a variety that would help deal with the shoot and fruit borer pest …. Bt Brinjal variety is being planted by other farmers too in Sirsa and neighboring areas,” Saini claimed.

Read full, original article: Scientists fear widespread contamination of Bt Brinjal

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