Now, top farm research institute backs Bt Brinjal

New Delhi, March 2 (Calcutta Tube) The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), the top government-run research institution, Tuesday supported the introduction of Bt Brinjal and said it will be a step forward in the direction of food security.

‘When any new technology comes, we need to have an open mind. If we do not use new technology now, we will stay behind,’ IARI director H.S. Gupta told reporters in reply to a question on his institute’s stand on Bt Brinjal.

He said the area under agriculture is almost static for the last 40 years but the population is growing faster. To feed nearly 120 crore people, ‘we should not miss this technology,’ Gupta said.

Squarely blaming Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Gupta said there should have been a fair consultation with all stake-holders.

He said while the scientists appreciate the environment minister’s consultations with farmers, they should have been consulted equally.

‘I am working in the field for 25 years. I believe, I understand it better that many. If the Americans can eat Bt Corn, why cannot we have Bt Brinjal?’ he argued.

The IARI is under the ministry of agriculture. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has openly backed Bt Brinjal, which Ramesh has put under temporary moratorium.

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