Should the Bt Brinjal controversy concern healthcare professionals and bioethicists? This article questions the so-called benefits of GM crops and highlights some major concerns. These include: inadequately addressed health and environmental risks, inadequate safety guidelines, a lack of transparency in sharing test data, the implications to seed sovereignty of farmers and the lack of informed choice for consumers. Some concerns about field testing by Mahyco, the developer of Bt-brinjal, and the process of evaluation by GEAC remain unresolved. A fair process is also needed in the public consultations being proposed by the minister of state for environment and forests. The approval came following the review of reports submitted by the Maharashstra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited Mahyco , the Indian subsidiary of the US-based company Monsanto, that uses biotechnology to produce high yielding, pest resistant crops.

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In the interview he related that the new Bt brinjal crop was successfully controlling the fruit and shoot borer, a serious caterpillar pest found throughout Asia against which farmers previously had to spray toxic pesticides sometimes as much as twice a week. Rahman told the BBC that after adopting Bt brinjal he had been able to dramatically reduce his pesticide use, and was both saving money and seeing improved health outcomes as a result.

The same farmer was also featured in a New York Times article highlighting the same issues of pesticide use reductions and improved yield and livelihood. The same UNB reporter had previously published a story claiming that numerous Bt brinjal farmers throughout the country had also suffered failed crops.

This report was however challenged by the director-general of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. These competing narratives have led to confusion internationally about the reality of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh. The interview was filmed and can be viewed in full below with English language translation in captions. Rahman was unambiguous about the success of his Bt brinjal crop, and rejected claims of failure. That is why my neighbors are inspired and me, too.

He also denied having told the UNB reporter that he was dissatisfied with the performance of his Bt brinjal crop. When the plant comes to the end of its life, it dies. My Bt brinjal plants died when they were finished fruiting. Everything comes to an end, doesn t it? Will the brinjal plants stay throughout the year?

That s not possible. The plants had no brinjals on them, I had already started to harvest Dhundul Sponge Gourd in that field. So, I told him my harvesting of brinjal is finished already. They also told me not to eat this brinjal. They said if insects don t eat this, it must not be a good thing for humans to eat. With my practical mind to counter them, I asked them that people take medicines for worms, the worms die, why don t people die?

They were not able to answer my question. This is the fundamental motivation behind the Alliance for Science mission. As the Alliance for Science staffers discovered, the best way to do this is by letting farmers like Rahman speak for themselves, so they can share their perspectives with a global audience without fear of distortion and false reporting. To view the full commentary by Hafizur Rahman, watch the Alliance s and full uncut video interviews below with him in the brinjal fields of Bangladesh.

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Bt Brinjal Controversy

Here are answers for those who are confused with these terms in simple layman language. What is Bt brinjal? Bt brinjal is genetically modified variety of brinjal which gives more resistant to Brinjal plant against insects. In technical terms Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a gene [Cry 1Ac] from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and hence the name Bt into Brinjal. The insertion of the gene into the Brinjal cell in young cotyledons has been done through an Agro bacteriummediated vector, along with other genes like promoters, markers etc. This genetic insertion is said to give the Brinjal plant resistance against insects. It is reported that upon ingestion of the Bt toxin by the insect, there would be disruption of digestive processes, ultimately resulting in the death of the insect.


Genetically modified brinjal

Development[ edit ] Mahyco licensed and used the cry1Ac gene obtained from Monsanto and two supporting genes nptII and aad. NptII and aad are selectable marker genes, nptII is used to identify transgenic plants from non-transgenic, and aad is used to identify the transformed bacteria used during the development of the construct. Aad contains a bacterial promoter and is not expressed in the Bt brinjal. The completed construct was inserted into young cotyledons from the brinjal plants using an Agrobacterium-mediated technique. Agrobacterium naturally inserts DNA into plants from its Ti plasmid , and scientists use this to insert genes of interest into various plants. The transformed plants were regenerated and analyzed for the presence of the gene through Southern blotting. The Bt protein binds to specific receptor proteins present in the insect membrane, resulting in pore formation in the membranes.


Bangladeshi Bt brinjal farmer speaks out in GMO controversy


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