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Bangladesh close to GM aubergines launch

Bangladesh has moved closer to the commercial release of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt brinjals (aubergines), reports national newspaper The Daily Star. The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute has reportedly applied to the National Technical Committee for Crop Biotechnology for commercial release. Once cleared, the GM crop would go through a bio-safety regulatory process and public consultation before its release, the newspaper reports. The aubergines are resistant to fruit and shoot borers (Leucinodes orbonalis). Field trials have been conducted in the country since 2007 and have been supported by the US-funded Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (Agrow No 496, p 17). The GM line was expected to have its first global commercial launch in India but the country's Environment Minister imposed a moratorium in 2010 (Agrow No 586, p 20). Field trials have also been under way in the Philippines for the last few years but the Philippine Court of Appeal ordered a halt to the trials in May (Agrow No 665, p 23).

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