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‘Edibility of Bt brinjal not yet confirmed’

The edibility of the much debated Bt brinjal is yet to be confirmed even as the variety has passed the yield test and pest resistance analysis,said Dr M C Varshneya,Vice-Chancellor of Anand Agricultural University.

The edibility of the much debated Bt brinjal is yet to be confirmed even as the variety has passed the yield test and pest resistance analysis,said Dr M C Varshneya,Vice-Chancellor of Anand Agricultural University (AAU). He said nowhere in the word Bt brinjal was used as edible vegetable so far,not even in the US.

Dr Varshneya,who was here on Monday to announce the university’s sixth annual convocation on Wednesday at Anand,said AAU had conducted only yield tests and pest resistance analysis on Bt brinjal samples. Therefore “we at AAU cannot opine on its edibility”,he said. He reiterated that so far,no one has come up with the variety’s edibility,not even in other countries.

He said farmers in Gujarat were free to buy potato seeds from anywhere in the country,when asked why were they not keen on buying potato seeds developed in the state agricultural universities. According to him,there was no significant decline in cultivable land in Gujarat despite sea water ingress and grazing in gochar lands. “It is due to goats and sheep and not due to cows and buffaloes that cultivable soil gets reduced,” he said.

He said AAU had recorded 64,000 genes of Jafarabadi buffalo and registered them all over the world,a task not even China or the US could do so far,he said. The registration of these genes has been done in the US,he said.

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Dr Varshneya said AAU,which lost 800 hectares for the Nano plant at Sanand,was given land in compensation at seven locations totalling 196 hectares,which was much less than what it should have been given. “We have put forth our demand for the remainder of the land and the demand is pending for further process,” he said.

He said,at Charodi village near Sanand where the University centre was located,200 hectares of land was used to cultivate jatropha plants and 80 hectares for seeds. The remaining plot was grassland,he said. The seven plots which were allotted as an alternative are at Sansoli,Nenpur,Vaso,Meenawada,Ramnamuwada,Khambholaj and Jetpur-Pavi.

He further said that this year one student of B Sc Agriculture,Deepa Hiremath,had bagged all the 14 gold medals at AAU.

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Public meeting on introduction of Bt Brinjal
A public consultation on introduction of Bt Brinjal in India will

be held today at the Ahmedabad Management Association.

The consultation,the third in a series of such meetings held in various cities across the country by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in association with the Center for Environment Education (CEE),will be chaired by MoEF Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 11am and participation is open for all.

First published on: 19-01-2010 at 10:36:14 pm
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