Summary of analysis of dossier from Mahyco et al. in support of their claims of safety of fruit and shoot borer tolerant brinjal
I am submitting to the Philippines Government this opinion on the testing of Bt brinjal conducted in India because I understand that the Philippines is currently evaluating a Bt brinjal event for commercial release and is relying in whole or in part on the results of Indian testing. What follows is my opinion of the testing of the product known as Bt brinjal (EE-1 event) produced by a consortium of institutions including Mahyco of India. I have evaluated selected sections of the “Mahyco dossier”1 released for review in India in 2008 and a response to criticisms (ECII)2 of this data issued by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of India (in 2009). To my knowledge, there is no additional information that has been made available to the Philippines, and the dossier submitted for risk assessment contains the same data as that submitted to the Indian regulators; hence my comments are also relevant for the Philippines. Importantly, only one country—India—has formally considered the risk assessment of Bt brinjal and they have decided that there is insufficient evidence of its safety. The Indian regulator, GEAC, failed in its evaluation of the assessment data to convince its minister, the Honourable Jairam Ramesh, that Bt brinjal was safe either as food or for open cultivation (e.g., Table 1). Overwhelming evidence from the independent scientific community submitted to the Minister and to GEAC justified a Ministerial moratorium on the product until proper and customised testing can be completed. To my knowledge, results of tests that address the flaws carefully examined by the independent scientific community have not been provided to India and therefore the Philippines are unlikely to have received any information that has not already been considered and dismissed by India.
SubjectsField of Research::10 - Technology::1001 - Agricultural Biotechnology::100105 - Genetically Modified Field Crops and Pasture
- Science: Reports