BT Brinjal is on the list of crops for approval by the GEAC.
The study, sponsored by the Austrian Ministries for Agriculture
and Health, was presented at a scientific seminar in Vienna,
Austria. Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zentek, Professor for Veterinary Medicine
at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study,
summarized the findings: Mice fed with GE maize had less offspring
in the third and fourth generations, and these differences were
statistically significant. Mice fed with non-GE maize reproduced
more efficiently. They concluded that this effect could be
attributed to the difference in the food source.
"GE food appears to be acting as a birth control agent,
potentially leading to infertility - if this is not reason enough
to close down the whole biotech industry once and for all, I am not
sure what kind of disaster we are waiting for," said Dr. Jan van
Aken, GE expert at Greenpeace International.
The Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding
trials with laboratory mice over a course of 20 weeks. One of the
studies was a so-called reproductive assessment by continuous
breeding (RACB) trial, in which the same parent generation gave
birth to several litters of baby mice. The parents were fed either
with a diet containing 33% of a GE maize variety (NK 603 x MON
810), or a closely related non-GE variety. A decrease in litter
size and weight was found to be statistically significant in the
third and fourth litters in the GE-fed mice compared to the control
Owned by Monsanto, the GE maize variety tested in this study is
tolerant to herbicides and resistant to certain insect pests. It
has been approved for planting and food use in a variety of
countries, including the US, Argentina, Japan, Philippines and
Unsafe, illegal GE food in India
Earlier this year, Greenpeace India had uncovered illegal GM
food in India. The NK 603 strain was detected in the corn used in
Pepsico's Doritos Corn chips sold in India. However, the GEAC
(Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) has not taken any action
on this yet.
"Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, has been silent on the health impacts of
Bt brinjal which is about to be approved by the GEAC, turned a
blind eye on the 169 new GM crops1 that are planned to be released
in the next few years, has been apathetic on the priceless treasure
of medicinal herbs being genetically engineered all this while.
Now, with this study proving potential impacts on fertility and
reproductive health, will he act now?" asked Jai Krishna,
Greenpeace Sustainable agriculture campaigner.
"This study is yet another example that the food and feed safety
of GM crops and food cannot be guaranteed. The reproductive
toxicity of this GM maize was a totally unexpected result." added
Dr. van Aken.
Upholding the Indian citizens' right to choose, Greenpeace
• Ban on all open air releases of GMOs, as they have not been
proven safe either for human health or for the environment
• The Health Ministry and the newly constituted FSSA take up
the responsibility for bio-safety approvals of GM food crops
For further information, contact
Jai Krishna – Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91 98455 91992
Ankur Ganguly – Communications Manager, Greenpeace India, +91 98453 73818
Notes to Editor
1. Data from Greenpeace’s Genetic Gamble report, which can be downloaded at
2. The Austrian government study can be downloaded at
3. GEAC on its website states:
Among Genetically Modified (GM) food products and seeds permitted in the country, only Bt cotton has been approved for commercial release in the country.The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the statutory body constituted under the 'Rules for the Manufacture, Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms / Genetically Engineering Organisms or Cells, 1989' notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has given the approval.
While there is no ban on GM products and seeds, approval of GEAC is mandatory prior to their commercial use. The GEAC had earlier received request for import and commercial use of GM Soybean oil in India which was granted in July 2007. No other request has been received so far.
There is a provision to take punitive action against GM product which is found marketed illegally in India under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation ) Act, 1992.