Genetically modified brinjal illegally cultivated in Haryana

  1. Anti-GMO groups has alleged that Bt brinjal which is a genetically modified variety of brinjal is being cultivated illegally in Haryana.
  2. The farmer group has demanded that the government immediately ascertain the extent of illegal Bt brinjal cultivation.It should also take deterrent action against seed suppliers involved and destroy all Bt brinjal plots to prevent contamination.
  3. The Bt brinjal refers to a group of transgenic brinjals created by inserting a crystal protein gene(Cry1Ac) from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars.This was developed to give resistance against lepidopteran insects in particular the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer.
  4. It was developed by Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company) in collaboration with the Dharwad University of Agricultural Sciences and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.In 2010,the government had placed an indefinite moratorium on commercial release of Bt brinjal.
  5. Government had said that the moratorium will last till independent scientific studies establish the safety of Bt brinjal from the point of view of its long term impact on human health and environment.However,the same Bt brinjal variety was subsequently approved for commercial cultivation in Bangladesh in 2013.
  6. GM Crops are plants used in agriculture,the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering.GM is a technology that involves inserting DNA into the genome of an organism.To produce a GM plant, new DNA is transferred into plant cells.Usually,the cells are then grown in tissue culture where they develop into plants.The seeds produced by these plants inherit the new DNA.