'Plagiarised' report on Bt brinjal miffs Ramesh

"Disappointed'' by the report of six top scientific academies on genetically modified crops that had recommended immediate but limited release of Bt brinjal for commercial cultivation, union minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh yesterday said the report appeared to lack ''scientific rigour'', and did not reflect the views of the larger scientific community.

The six academies, including the Indian National Science Academy, the biggest association of Indian scientists, had been asked by Ramesh to produce a report on GM crops in the wake of the controversy surrounding his decision earlier this year to put the commercialisation of Bt Bbrinjal on hold.

The academies, including the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Academy of Medical Sciences and National Academy of Sciences (India), had submitted their report last week.

''It doesn't appear to be the product of rigorous scientific evaluation. There is not a single citation or reference in the report. So there is no way to know how the authors reached their conclusions. The report doesn't even say who all were consulted in this exercise,'' Ramesh said.

He also said that none of the states were in favour of lifting the moratorium on genetically modified crops.

An advocacy group, Coalition for GM Free India, on Saturday alleged that the report of the academies was plagiarised from an article 'Bt brinjal: A pioneering push' in Biotech News - a publication of the Department of Biotechnology written by Anand Kumar, a supporter of Bt brinjal.