12 scientists write PM not to introduce Bt Brinjal in BangladeshNew Age Online
Some 12 international scientists have urged the government not to allow introduction of genetically modified Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh.
In their formal letters recently written to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the scientists expressed their concern and said this brinjal could cause unprecedented health hazard, if eaten. They argued that there had not been adequate field testing of this Genetically Modified Organism, e.i., Bt brinjal for human consumption.
The Bt brinjal may have negligible benefit but can present an enormous hazard to human health, they said in the letters that were also sent to agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury and environment and forest minister Hasan Mahmud.
US GM company Monsanto is supposed to introduce the egg plants through Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute. BARI did not specify how long they carried out the field test.
Policy research for development alternative (UBINIG and Nayakrishi Andolon) made the letters public to the media on Wednesday.
While sharing the papers with the journalists, UBINIG executive director Farida Akhter said the noted scientists have also attached sufficient scientific documents against the ‘toxic brinjal.’
Besides, the Bt brinjal is risky for environment, its production cost is higher and it will make the growers dependent on a single seed company, she said.
The scientists contracted UBINIG after learning through newspaper reports that the organisation had filed case against the move of the government.
Farida Akhter also said UBINIG decided to make the letters public, taking permission of the authorities concerned.
The scientists include professor Michael Antoniu of gene expression and therapy group at King’s college London School of Medicine, professor Susan Bardoczu of human nutrition and GMO expert of the rural development of Hungary, former founder director of centre for cellular and molecular biology in Hyderabad Pushpa M Bhargava, Australian scientist Judy Carman, professor Jack A Heinemann of centre for integrated research in bio-safety at university of Canterbury, world food prize laureate professor Hans R Herren, senior Swiss scientist Angelika Hilbeck, senior lecturer at Auckland university Robert Mann, protein chemist and professor Arpad Pusztai, professor David Schubert at Salk Institute for biological studies and professor Gilles Eric Seralini from France.
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