Decision on Bt-brinjal after due consultations: Jairam Ramesh

The government will take a series of consultations before taking any decision on approving Bt-brinjal for commercialisation, minister of state (independent charge) for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said today.

In a statement issued in New Delhi today he said the government would hold a series of consultations with all stakeholders at different places on the issue of Bt-brinjal.

"I have just received the recommendations of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) on Bt-brinjal. I have studied the recommendations and have decide on the following course of action," the minister said.

During January and February 2010, I propose to have a series of consultations in different places with scientists, agriculture experts, farmers' organisations, consumer groups and NGOs. All points of view will be represented in these consultations, he said.

"Strong views have already been expressed on the Bt-brinjal issue, both for and against. My objective is to arrive at a careful, considered decision in the public and national interest. The decision will be made only after the consultations process is complete and all stakeholders are satisfied that they have been heard to their satisfaction," he added.

He said the Expert Committee (EC-II) submitted its report on Bt-brinjal to the GEAC on 8 October 2009 that formed the basis of the GEAC's decision of 14 October 2009 is being made public with immediate effect.