Experts’ committee to look into impact of GM brinjal crop

CHANDIGARH: After it has come to light that brinjal crop in a Fatehabad village is genetically modified, chief secretary DS Dhesi on Tuesday held a meeting of senior officers and decided to form a committee comprising plant pathologists, microbiologists and environmentalists to study the health impact of consuming such brinjals.

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14

After it has come to light that brinjal crop in a Fatehabad village is genetically modified, chief secretary DS Dhesi on Tuesday held a meeting of senior officers and decided to form a committee comprising plant pathologists, microbiologists and environmentalists to study the health impact of consuming such brinjals.

“We have to look at the health impact of cultivation and consumption of genetically modified brinjal. A committee has been formed which will give its report in three days,” said Dr Ranbir Singh, Joint Director Horticulture Department, Haryana, who was present in the meeting today.

“We have to wait for the report of experts whether this genetically modified brinjal is harmful. Only then we can take decision regarding further action,” said Fatehabad DC Dhirendra Khadgata.

“A notification had come on December 5, 1989, under Environment Protection Rules, 1989, which says that genetically modified crops cannot be cultivated without permission. Our department will look into air, water and soil pollution because of cultivation of these genetically modified brinjals,” said Dr RK Chauhan, Joint Director, Department of Environment, Haryana, who is member of the committee, formed to study the health impact of the GM brinjal.

Dr Rajinder Chaudhary, an environmental activist, had on April 25 alleged that nine years after India banned Bt Brinjal, the genetically modified (GM) crop was still in circulation. The environmentalists led by him had cited the example of a farmer from Fatehabad who had allegedly been cultivating the crop for a couple of years.

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