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Govt withdraws Bt cotton notification
24
May '16
The Union government has withdrawn the notification on guidelines for Bt cotton technology which placed a cap on royalty for new genetically modified (GM) traits, and has invited comments and suggestions of stakeholders on the matter before taking a final call. The decision to withdraw the notification came five days after it was issued.

The notification was stoutly opposed by the crop biotech industry. Biotech industry body ABLE-AG, which has members like Monsanto, Mahyco, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer and Bayer BioScience, had opposed the government's notification saying that decision would be a "huge blow" to the innovators in agri-biotech industry.

The guidelines, notified by the Agriculture Ministry on May 18, capped the royalty for new GM traits at 10 per cent of the maximum sale price of the Bt cottonseeds – a move that could affect Monsanto's India operations.

“The notification regarding guideline for Bt cotton technology issued on May 18, 2016, will be put in the public domain for the period of 90 days, in the same form for comments and suggestions of all stakeholders,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a press release on Monday.

According to the notified guidelines, after the initial five years, royalty would reduce by 10 per cent of initial value every year. If the GM technology loses its efficacy, the technology provider would not be eligible for any royalty.

The guidelines also prescribed a new format for sub-licensing agreements that all seed technology providers would have to sign with the seed companies. If such an agreement is not signed within next 30 days, all old agreements would be considered invalid, the notification said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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