Bt brinjal in India: The nays outnumber the ayes

When the Indian authorities gave the go-ahead for commercialised cropping of the genetically modified Bt Brinjal aubergine, a fierce debate broke out all over the country. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh then called for public consultations in order to incorporate the arguments of the various actors into the decision process. Some 8 000 people from politics, business, academia and civil society participated in a total of six public discussion rounds. As a result, the Indian government has now put Bt. Brinjal cultivation on hold for the time being. The article describes the consultation process, the arguments for and against the decision and the reactions to the moratorium.

Nivedita Varshneya
Programme Manager
New Delhi, India

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