By admin       2018-05-28

HT cotton is considered as the successor to BG II. But Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech India, which had conducted trials of the new generation seeds and was seeking GEAC’s approval, withdrew its application for the BG II Roundup Ready Flex (the ‘RoundUp’ contains glyphosate) in May 2016 after the Government brought in the price controls on Bt seeds. “We have learnt about illegal RRF herbicide tolerant cotton being planted by farmers in key cotton-growing States across India. As early as September 2008, Monsanto had informed GEAC about seeds being illegally produced and sold by spurious and dubious seed producers to farmers without any approvals from Central or State regulatory agencies, in complete violation of applicable laws. Even in August 2017, we sought their intervention on the gross misuse of patented and regulated technologies which may pose numerous other challenges to India’s cotton ecosystem. “While the necessary applications seeking permissions for environmental release were being reviewed by the GEAC, this request was withdrawn due to the prevailing uncertain operating environment in May 2016. It is a matter of grave concern that some seed companies, while suppressing their real intent of profiteering, are attempting to illegally incorporate unauthorised and unapproved herbicide tolerant technologies into their seeds,” says a spokesperson for Mahyco-Monsanto. The unapproved HT cottonseeds that are being sold in the country now are erroneously being referred to as BG III seeds, which is not correct, say experts. The annual seed market for the legally approved varieties is estimated at around 4.5-4.8 crore packets (of 450 gram each) and the area under the fibre crop hovers around 12 million hectares.

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