"Bangladesh presents transgenic aubergine"

Indian media reported that Bangladesh has presented the first transgenic aubergine to the market. This aubergine contains the Cry1Ac gene, extracted from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria, which provides resistance against two of the most terrible pests affecting this crop in Asia. 

Four different varieties have been presented: Bt Brinjal-1 (Uttara), intended for the region of Rajshahi; Bt Brinjal-2 (Kajla), for its cultivation in Barisal; Bt Brinjal-3 (Nayantara), for Rangpur and Dhaka; and Bt Brinjal-4 (Iswardi), for Pabna and Chittagong. The protein incorporated by these varieties is toxic for the larvae of insects, but it is safe for mammals. Testament to this is that the Bt bacterium is already used as an organic pesticide that lives naturally in the soil.

Bangladesh's model has been similar to that of countries like Brazil, Cuba or Indonesia, as the project does not involve any multinationals, but it is funded by a public institution, the Agricultural Research Institute of Bangladesh. 

The country has become the world's 29th country to cultivate transgenic crops and the first in its geographic area to grow them for food supply, as India, Pakistan and Burma grow only cotton (which is largely imported by Europe). Other transgenic products currently in the market include soya, corn, rapeseed, beetroot, papaya, beans, roses and carnations.


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