The Candid Eye

February 6, 2010

Introducing Bt Brinjal in India a sin: Sri Sri Ravishankar

Source: Zee News

Taking a tough stand at Government’s bid to introduce genetically modified Bt Brinjal in India, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Thursday said it would be a sin to bring in the crop here.

“It will be sin to introduce Bt Brinjal until it is proved that it is not harmful to health,” he told Zee News on being asked his opinion on the issue which had Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh touring India to build a consensus.

Bt Brinjal

“That the minister is touring India is good…he should decide that the crop will not be introduced,” he said.The founder of the Art of Living was announcing a campaign to clean up River Yamuna.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), India’s biotech regulator, had last year approved the commercial release of Bt Brinjal.But Ramesh decided to conduct public hearings after a member of the committee alleged all necessary tests were not carried out before taking the decision. The public consultations are being held in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.

Demanding that the government reverse its decision, farmers, scientists and NGOs have staged angry demonstrations and disrupted public hearings organised by the environment ministry on the issue in the past few days.“Studies in countries like Germany, France, US etc have concluded that Bt is dangerous for consumption. It is banned in many countries. Why are we in such a hurry to introduce it India,” Sri Sri wondered.

“Many of our own scientists including Swaminathan have opposed Bt crop. I am trying to educate farmers about the issue. I addressed thousands of farmers in Jalgaon in Maharashtra about it,” he added.When pointed out that population would increase to grow and such innovation could be a solution to food crisis, he said population could not be taken care of by giving it harmful food substance.

Sri Sri also said the system of not conserving our own seeds and crops by bringing in artificial food varieties was “very sad.”He emphasised that media, NGOs and citizens should stand up against this step of the government.

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