Kochi: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said no NGO influenced his decision to put a moratorium on Bt Brinjal, a statement that comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raising questions about the role of foreign funded NGOs in blocking use of genetic engineering.

"Green Peace a foreign funded NGO accused me of propagating the line of Monsanto during a public hearing in Bangalore. So on Bt Brinjal, since I was directly involved, I can confidently say no NGOs influenced my views," Ramesh, who is on a three-day Kerala visit, told reporters here.

He said his position on Bt Brinjal was determined by the positions of state governments, the lack of consensus among the scientific community, the fact that the tests were not completed and there was no independent professional mechanism which will instill confidence in the public.

"I did not ban Bt Brinjal. I decided let’s put moratorium. Let’s fulfil all these four conditions and then revisit the whole issue," he said.

His remarks came in response to a question about allegations that some NGOs based in Scandinavian countries funded the protests against Bt Brinjal.

His remarks also came against the backdrop of Prime Minister's comments that some NGOs based in the United States and Scandinavian countries were not "fully appreciative" of the development challenges India faces.

Ramesh said as Environment Minister he enforced the moratorium on Bt Brinjal on February nine, 2010 after going through a seven-month process of public consultation.

(Agencies)