Bt Brinjal: the scope and adequacy of the GEAC environmental risk assessment

This report evaluates the scope and adequacy of the environmental risk assessment (ERA) for hybrid EE-1 Bt brinjal requested by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) in response to the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd., Mumbai (Mahyco) application for permission to commercialise hybrid EE-1 Bt brinjal. The assessment is reported in the Report of the Expert Committee (EC-II) on Bt Brinjal Event EE-1. Event EE-1 expresses a genetically engineered crystalline (Cry) protein toxin from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt). The Cry toxin is similar but not identical to Cry1Ac. It is a chimeric protein of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab, and designated Ccry1A in this report. EE-1 was inserted into improved brinjal hybrids, which are modern cultivars of Solanum melongena L. [Solanaceae: Leptostemonum]. It was developed to control the brinjal fruit and stem borer, Leucinodes orbonalis Guenee [Lepidoptera: Crambidae], which is abbreviated BFSB in the rest of this report. This report does not address the potential risks of hybrid Bt brinjal as human food or animal feed, and does not fully analyse the need for, requirements of, and methodologies for post-commercialisation monitoring of hybrid Bt brinjal.