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Bangladesh approves GM aubergine cultivation

Bangladesh has approved the commercial release of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt brinjals (aubergines). The country's National Committee on Biosafety cleared the GM line that contains the Bt Cry1Ac protein and is resistant to fruit and shoot borers (Leucinodes orbonalis). Four varieties developed by the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Bt Brinjal-1 (Uttara), Bt Brinjal-2 (Kajla), Bt Brinjal-3 (Nayantara) and Bt Brinjal-4 (Iswardi local), would first be released on a limited scale as per a production manual following biosafety guidelines, reports national newspaper The Daily Star. The decision paves the way for Bangladesh to become the 29th country in the world to cultivate GM crops. Detailed plans of variety releases, seed multiplication and best practices in farmers' field-level production would reportedly be worked out soon.

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