Bangladesh and the Philippines are both waiting for India to make up its mind about Bt Brinjal. India’s decision will influence theirs.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is set to take a decision on February 10.
The two countries have run their own tests to evaluate the yield and pest-resistance capacity of Bt Brinjal. But they want India to tell them if it is safe enough for humans to consume.
As with all genetically modified foods, Bt Brinjal has aroused enormous controversy in India, with a number of public advocacy groups resisting the move to allow its commercial production.
“We are awaiting India’s decision. We are relying on Indian data,” Md. Yousuf Mian, director-general of the state-run Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) told Hindustan Times from Dhaka.
“Both countries are looking up to India as a leader since they do not have the capacity for full-line evaluation of Bt brinjal,” Vijay Raghavan, South Asia regional in-charge of ABSP-2 said, speaking from Hyderabad.