CEE, on behalf of Ministry of Environment and Forests, will be holding National Public Consultations on Bt Brinjal in January 2010 in 7 locations.
Detailed Schedule and Contacts
Kolkata 13 January 2010
Bhubaneswar 16 January 2010
Ahmedabad 19 January 2010
Hydrabad 22 January 2010
Bangalore 23 January 2010
Nagpur 27 January 2010
Chandigarh 30 January 2010
CEE Coordination Team:
Mr. Atul Pandya/Mr. Ramesh Savalia, CEE, Ahmedabad
Boardline numbers: 079 – 26844002-09
Direct lines: 079 – 26844745, 26844746, 079 – 65257772
About Bt Brinjal: Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created out of inserting a gene [cry 1Ac] from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into Brinjal. This is said to give the Brinjal plant resistance against lepidopteran insects like the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) and Fruit Borer (Helicoverpa armigera). Bt Brinjal has generated much debate in India. The claims are that Bt Brinjal is on one hand is seen as beneficial to small farmers, more insect resistant, low cost seeds make it affordable, retains Indian cropping patterns of save and re-use for seeds etc. On the other hand, the criticism against Bt Brinjal stems from the experiences with Genetically Modified crops in general in India, bio-engineered food related health hazards, potential environmental hazards caused by monoculture etc.
CEE’s Role: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has been recommended by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) on the safe environmental release of Bt Brinjal. Consequently, prior to a final decision MoEF, there is a need for public consultations across the country on the discussions surrounding Bt Brinjal. CEE would undertake this responsibility. The Minister of State (MoS), MoEF, Mr. Jairam Ramesh will Chair the consultations at all 7 locations
The main objectives of the consultation will be:
Conduct 7 Public Consultations with multiple local stakeholders, belonging to distinct groups, for forward dialogue on Bt Brinjal. Compile and collate the discussion held during the public consultations in the final report. The final report would be accompanied by an executive summary report capturing the views of various stakeholders.
About Consultation process: National consultation will provide a space for discussions and networking across the board for the multiple stakeholders in Bt Brinjal. These will be held in significant locations across the nation for a more large scale discussion. These will provide space for discussion among the smaller and lesser voiced debates. It will also open a dialogue on the Bt. Brinjal. The consultations allow for a more regional level interaction towards a more holistic understanding. The one day consultations will happen in 7 locations across the country. These public consultations will be attended by assorted stakeholders who will represent distinctive alliances. They will be invited prior to the consultation to participate in the discussion on Bt Brinjal within the framework of their own vocations. The consultations will be conducted in the local languages, additionally Hindi and English dependant on the participants comfort. This is to ensure maximum participation from all stakeholders. Each consultation will invite 250 participants from various communities like farming community, scientists, agriculture experts, farmer organizations, consumer groups, citizens forums, NGOs/CBOs, Government officials, media, seed suppliers, traders, doctors, lawyers, etc.
The public consultations would serve as a platform for ‘voices of the public' being considered by policy makers and at the same time enable the intricacies of the local issues and concerns relevant to Bt. brinjal to be known by one and all. These consultations will be consulted in democratic, transparent, objective and scientific manner. The public consultations in your region therefore assume much significance and your participation and views much valuable.
The contact persons, details and the venues for the above seven consultations and the Introductory booklet on Bt Brinjal would be put up on the CEE Website shortly.