Myths and Truths

Myth: Because Bt brinjal is genetically modified means that more chemicals are used and promotes monoculture cropping

Truth: The association of GMOs with chemical monoculture derives from a misunderstanding about herbicide-tolerant crops widely used in North and South America. Bt brinjal is genetically engineered to avoid the use of insecticides, not to encourage it. It is not ‘resistant to pesticides’, as is sometimes alleged. Because Bt brinjal contains a Bt protein it is able to resist pest infestation with minimal or no application of toxic insecticides. For those consumers who select organic food to avoid toxic chemicals, Bt brinjal would be a good choice.

Myth: Farmers saving their own Bt brinjal seeds will be sued for patent infringement

Truth: No farmer will ever be sued for saving and replanting Bt brinjal seeds. Bt brinjal has been developed in the public sector and will be distributed non-commercially. There are no technology fees or royalties payable on Bt brinjal by any farmer in Bangladesh because the technology to develop it has been donated free of charge. Farmers will not just be permitted, but will be encouraged, to save their seeds.