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Indian Minister in public meetings over GM aubergines

India’s Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, has begun a series of public meetings across the country over the commercialisation of genetically modified insect-resistant aubergines (brinjal) developed by Monsanto licensee Mahyco, reports Indian newspaper, The Hindu. The meetings are to be held in major cities over a period of two weeks. The Minister expects to convey his Ministry’s decision to the government by the middle of February, reports the news agency, Press Trust of India. The Indian Genetic Engineering Approval Committee approved the commercial cultivation of GM aubergines in October ( Agrow No 578, p 24). But given the controversy surrounding the topic, the Minister opted for further public consultation before taking a decision on the issue. The aubergines carry the Bt cry1Ac gene conveying resistance to fruit and shoot borers ( Leucinodes orbonalis).

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