Myth: Bt brinjal was banned in India and the Philippines so Bangladesh should follow suit

Truth: It is true that professional anti-GMO activists and European-based NGOs have so far succeeded in thwarting the introduction of Bt brinjal in both countries. In the Philippines, Greenpeace activists even attacked and destroyed a Bt brinjal trial crop, and later succeeded in obtaining a court judgment against it, despite the provision of scientifically flawed evidence by the activists making the petition. Similarly in India, a tortuous legal situation resulted in a moratorium on Bt brinjal imposed two years ago by then environment minister Jairam Ramesh. This decision was taken against the scientific evidence of the government’s own advisors, again at the behest of activist NGOs opposed to the use of agricultural technology to benefit farmers. None of these are good reasons for Bangladesh to ignore the overwhelming international scientific consensus on the safety and usefulness of Bt crops and prohibit Bt brinjal.