GM Cotton By 2017 To Check Monsanto

GM Cotton By 2017 To Check Monsanto

The government has asked the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) to develop non-hybrid Bt cotton variety.

With US-based seed giant Monsanto under fire in India over monopoly concerns, the government has expedited work to bring out a local genetically-modified version of cotton seed by next year, according to a report.

“The Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) has been doing research in GM cotton for quite some time now. In a recent meeting, the issue was discussed and CICR has been asked to expedite research work and come out with GM cotton as soon as by next year,” agriculture secretary,Shobhana K Pattanayaksaid.

The direction to CICR has come at a time when pests like pink bollworm has developed resistance to Monsanto’s second generation Bt cotton variety, Bollgard II, in some parts of India and caused crop damage.

Monsato’sBt cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India. A substantial level of the country’s cotton contains Monsanto’s hybrid technology, which has been sub-licensed to 49 Indian seed companies.

The Competition Commission (CCI) is investigating whether an Indian arm of the US-based technology major resorted to anti-competitive practices in the GM cotton seed market.