The development and regulation of Bt Brinjal in India
This comprehensive review of all aspects of cultivation of brinjal in India summarises the development and regulatory status in India of biotech Bt brinjal hybrids. Bt brinjal was approved in India for experimental seed production in 2008-2009 and is under consideration for commercial release.
This Brief is a comprehensive review of all aspects of the cultivation in India of the important vegetable brinjal, also known as eggplant or aubergine. Importantly, the Brief also summarizes the development and regulatory status in India of biotech Bt brinjal hybrids which confer resistance to the most important insect-pest of brinjal, the fruit and shoot borer, hereafter referred to as FSB. Bt brinjal was approved in India for experimental seed production in 2008-2009 and is under consideration for commercial release in the near term. Bt brinjal hybrid (referred to as Bt brinjal in this Brief) is of particular interest for three reasons. Firstly, it is likely to be the first biotech food crop commercialized in India, following the unparalleled success of the commercialization of the fibre crop, Bt cotton. Secondly, Bt brinjal technology has been generously donated by its private sector developer, Mahyco, to public sector institutes in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines for incorporation in open-pollinated varieties of brinjal for the use of small resource-poor farmers. Thirdly, sharing of knowledge and experience of the regulation process
for Bt brinjal in India could greatly simplify and lighten the regulatory burden in Bangladesh and the Philippines by eliminating duplication of the significant effort already expended by India, thereby contributing to the important goal of harmonizing regulations between countries.