Seeds from Bt brinjal trials not deposited with govt body

Amid fears of widespread contamination of local varieties by Bt Brinjal in Haryana, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) said it had not stored any seeds of the genetically modified variety from field trials conducted before an “indefinite moratorium” was imposed on its commercialisation in 2010.

Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Pvt Ltd (Mahyco), a private seed developer, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) at Dharwad in Karnataka conducted the trials on Bt Brinjal and were in possession of the seeds.

Minutes of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) meetings held on February 17, 2010 and May 12, 2010 reveal that the committee decided that NBPGR would store Bt Brinjal seeds from all three seed developers and take affidavits from the company and institutions confirming that all seed stock has been deposited with NBPGR.