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India to devise new <i>Bt</i> aubergine tests

The Indian Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), in consultation with eminent scientists, will draw up fresh protocols for specific tests to establish the safety of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt brinjals (aubergines) before the government approves commercial cultivation. The GEAC approved the commercial cultivation of the GM line, developed by Monsanto licensee Mahyco and resistant to fruit and shoot borers ( Leucinodes orbonalis), in October ( Agrow No 578, p 24). But the Environment Minister put on hold the decision on whether or not to approve its commercial cultivation ( Agrow No 586, p 20). The GEAC has decided that the seed stock of Bt brinjals available with the developers should be deposited with the National Bureau of Plant Genetics Resources to prevent any potential leakage and contamination during the moratorium.

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