Image by Joe Athialy via FlickrThe introduction of Bacillus Thuringiensis Brinjal, popularly known as Bt brinjal in India, is still in the middle of debate.
This is a genetically modified strain of the non-transgenic Brinjal promoted by India’s top seeds company Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company) in collaboration with an US based transnational Monsanto and their aim is to improve the yields by a significant extent and also help the agricultural sector.
French scientist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), carried out the first ever independent assessment of Monsanto-Mahyco’s report on toxicity tests submitted to the Indian regulatory authorities.Seralini found many heath impact on not only the human and animal life but also on environment.He found :
It involves the insertion of a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the DNA or genetic code of the Brinjal to produce pesticidal entotoxins in every cell. This toxin can induce antibiotic resistance in the vegetable cells.
this is a major health problem and is inappropriate for commercial use. Bt brinjal have 15 percent less calories and consists of different kinds of alkaloids compared to non-GM brinjal. It contains 16-17 mg/kg Bt insecticide toxin. When fed to animals, effects were observed on blood with significant differences according to the sex of the animal or period of measurement. Other effects were also found on blood clotting time (prothrombin), total bilirubin (liver health), and alkaline phosphate in goats and rabbits.
Changes in lactating cows were observed in increased weight gain, intake of more dry roughage matter and milk production up by 10-14 percent as if they were treated by a hormone.
Rats fed Bt brinjal had diarrhoea, increased water consumption, decrease in liver weight, and liver to body weight. Feed intake was modified in broiler chickens. But in anyhow, there are arguments in favour of its introduction, and there are strong reasons for refusing the approval of Bt brinjal. If it get approved then the Bt Brinjal would be the first genetically modified food in India.
Did you know: The Central Rice Research Institute is in Cuttak.