Bangladesh's High Court has barred genetically modified eggplant from being commercially released in the country. The transgenic crop, called Bt Brinjal, is infused with pest-resistant genes, similar to previously released Bt maize and Bt cotton, which have contributed to increased resistance in pests.
The High Court also ruled that the bar would be in place until independent research based on Codex Alimentarius Commission's standards is conducted to test the GM crop's safety. The court also ruled that the government submit a report after conducting the research and they must explain why the release of the crop should not be declared illegal.
The order was passed following a petition that asserts that, because there is no law in Bangladesh regulating GM foods, if there was any adverse effect to human health, its liability can not be determined. It also mentions Indian Lok Sabha's 37th report, which states that GM Brinjal is harmful for human development and environment.
In August, a group of internationally recognized scientists sent a letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, urging her not to approve the release of Bt Brinjal in her country. The letter said that the introduction of the GM crop would harm biodiversity, lead to genetic contamination, increase costs and pose a serious health risk.