We must give Bt brinjal a fair trial and put unfounded fears to rest
Bharati Chaturvedi’s article Bangladesh nod to Bt brinjal, India at risk (August 26) comes out as an opinion piece aimed at inculcating unjustified fears with her one-sided ideological views that are not based on scientific evidence rooted in plant biotechnology. Studies conducted by the All India Coordinated Research Programme for Vegetable Crops and the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research have unequivocally proved that Bt technology in brinjal could result in a significant reduction in insecticide use. Overall, the quantities of insecticides used against fruit and shoot borer (FSB) were reduced by 77.2%, which amounted to 41.8% reduction in the total insecticide use in brinjal. Simultaneously, experimental data showed that the yield of Bt brinjal hybrids was consistently higher than non-Bt hybrids. Scientists in Bangladesh have realised the loss caused by FSB and have done extensive research on Bt brinjal and tests through greenhouse and open field trials and found significant beneficial results. Thus it would be wrong to criticise the Bangladesh government for allowing Bt brinjal to be commercially released. We would expect the writer to indulge in constructive criticism rather than spreading unfounded fears.
Professor IS Dua, Punjab
The government is losing the plot
With reference to the editorial Still on very shaky ground (Our Take, August 31), at a time when the country is witnessing a downturn in manufacturing, the land acquisition Bill is unlikely to boost investor sentiment. The Bill, if passed in its current avatar, will lead to major delays in the acquisition of land, making industrial projects unviable. This will hit the overall economy. It’s undeniable that people whose land has been acquired for industrial purposes should get just and fair compensation but the government cannot afford to lose sight of long-term economic growth.
Mukta Datta, via email
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