Another horrible development brought to you by 
Cornell University. Here, genetically engineered 
eggplants (brinjal) cloaked as "preventing 
hunger". It "reduces the use of spraying 
pesticides" (supposedly) by turning every cell 
into a pesticide factory. Can't wash it off. 
Sterilizes the soil. Chalk up another victory for 
industrial capitalism and the New World Order.

Mitchel Cohen


SOURCE: Cornell University

Cornell University

March 29, 2016 00:01 ET

$4.8 Million USAID Grant to Strengthen 
Biotechnology Partnership and Improve Food Security in South Asia

ITHACA, NY--(Marketwired - March 29, 2016) - To 
strengthen capacity to develop and disseminate 
genetically engineered eggplant in Bangladesh and 
the Philippines, the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) has awarded 
Cornell a $4.8 million, three-year grant. The 
award supports USAID's work under Feed the 
Future, the U.S. government's global initiative 
to fight hunger and improve food security using 
agricultural science and technology.

In the Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant 
Improvement Partnership, Cornell will protect 
eggplant farmers from yield losses and improve 
their livelihoods in partnership with the 
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) 
and the University of the Philippines at Los 
Baños. Eggplant, or brinjal, is a staple crop 
that is an important source of income and 
nutrition for farmers and consumers in South Asia.

"Because of infestation by the fruit and shoot 
borer, or FSB, as much as 70 percent of the 
eggplant crop in South Asia never makes it to 
market," said Anthony Shelton, international 
professor of entomology in the College of 
Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, who 
will direct the project. "Farmers in Asia spray 
hazardous insecticides as often as every other day to control FSB."

Genetically engineered eggplant, or Bt brinjal, 
has been developed over the last 11 years and 
uses a gene from a naturally occurring soil 
bacterium to produce a protein that causes borers to stop feeding.

"Bt, or bacillus thuringiensis, is a biological 
pesticide that organic growers have used for 
decades," said Shelton. "Bt brinjal increases 
food security and reduces the use of insecticides 
that negatively affects human health and the environment."

"Bangladesh faces food shortages, increasing 
population, and decreasing amounts of arable 
land," said Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam Mondal, 
director general of BARI. "Genetically engineered 
crops developed under the Feed the Future South 
Asia Eggplant Improvement Partnership will 
enhance the quality of life for Bangladeshis by 
increasing income, improving nutrition and 
health, and fostering a safer environment."

Over the past decade, Cornell has led the 
Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II 
(ABSPII), also funded by USAID, that prompted a 
consortium of institutions in Asia and Africa to 
use the tools of modern biotechnology, 
particularly genetic engineering, to improve 
crops to address major production constraints for 
which conventional plant breeding tools have not been effective.

According to Shelton, ABSPII's most significant 
achievement was working with BARI and the 
Bangladesh government to achieve product 
authorization of eggplant varieties in that country.

"The Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant 
Improvement Partnership award will help realize 
the full impact of USAID's preceding years' 
investment in research and technology 
development, to facilitate the late-stage 
development, deregulation, commercialization and 
dissemination of Bt eggplant to farmers," said 
Joe Huesing, USAID senior biotechnology adviser.. 
"The goal is to increase food security and 
improve environmental quality through supporting 
the national partners in their efforts to 
commercialize and adopt genetically engineered eggplant."

In October 2013, Bangladesh became the first 
country in South Asia to approve commercial 
cultivation of a genetically engineered food 
crop. In February 2014, Matia Chowdhury, the 
Bangladesh minister of agriculture, released four 
varieties of Bt brinjal to 20 farmers. With the 
establishment of the 20 Bt brinjal demonstration 
plots in 2014 and 104 more in 2015, BARI reported 
a noticeable decrease in fruit and shoot borer 
infestation, increased yields, decreased use of 
pesticide and improved income for farmers.

"The performance of Bt brinjal was better than 
non-Bt brinjal in all districts," said Mondal.

Five additional Bt eggplant varieties are in the 
pipeline for release in Bangladesh.

The Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant 
Improvement Partnership addresses and integrates 
all elements of the commercialization process -- 
including technology development, regulation, 
marketing, seed distribution, and product 
stewardship. It also provides strong platforms 
for policy development, capacity building, gender 
equality, outreach and communication.

For more information, see 
and this YouTube video 
Eggplant: A new option for farmers in Bangladesh."

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