Bt Brinjal in India: Fears, Myths and Facts
Brinjal is one of the important vegetable crops in India and its production is extensively affected by many insects in particular brinjal fruit and shoot borer. Large scale discriminate use of chemical insecticides not only damage environment but also affect human health. To minimize the use of insecticides and to get healthy brinjal fruit Bt Brinjal was developed employing transgenic technology. Bt brinjal could effectively control the target pests. When the insect feeds the plant and thereby ingests the delta cryo endotoxin in the insect gut, the protein binds to specific receptors on the insect midgut, inserts into the membrane and forms ion specific pores in gut lining and causes the death of the insect. The potential economic benefits of Bt brinjal hybrids in terms of yield gain, reduction in insecticide-use, and increase in net returns per hectare have been reported. Bt brinjal increases income of farmers, reduce its cost to consumers, improve food safety and reduce health hazards and environmental pollution.