February 10, 2010 Jairam Ramesh, India’s minister for environment and forests, announced yesterday that India would impose a temporary moratorium on the introduction of a genetically modified Aubergine (eggplant). Bt Brinjal, would have been the first genetically modified food allowed for commercial cultivation in India. The Aubergine had been modified with a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), to control insect boring pests. Critics of transgenic food crops are concerned over food safety and adverse environmental impacts, and believe that had the Bt Brinjal strain been approved, it would have opened the floodgates for cultivation of other GM crops in India.
” Aubergine has been grown for more than 4,000 years in India, where it is known as “the king of vegetables”. It is the most consumed vegetable in the country after the potato and India is the world’s second largest producer of aubergines after China.”—Guardian UK