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Monsanto withdraws next gen GM cotton seed application
25
Aug '16
American multinational agricultural biotechnology major Monsanto has withdraws its application submitted to the Indian government seeking approval for the next generation genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds. The application that was withdrawn sought environment clearance for commercial cultivation of ‘Bollgard-II Roundup Ready Flex technology’.

The application was withdrawn on July 6 this year because of regulatory uncertainties, Monsanto said, according to media reports.

“Our decision to suspend this introduction in India is an outcome of the uncertainty in the business and regulatory environment, which includes the regulation of trait fees and introduction of the draft compulsory licensing guidelines,” Monsanto spokesperson said in a statement.

However, the latest decision will not impact Monsanto’s cotton portfolio currently being sold in India, the company said.

In March this year, Monsanto had said that it shall re-evaluate its presence in India and hold back new technology if the Union government reduces trait fee of Bt cotton seeds.

Subsequently, the government capped royalty for the new GM traits at 10 per cent of the maximum sale price of Bt cotton seeds for the first five years. However, this notification was withdrawn by the government due to opposition from crop biotech industry.

Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL), Monsanto’s joint venture with Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds in India, has sub-licensed Bt cotton seed technology since 2002 to various domestic seed companies.

According to Monsanto, its Bollgard cotton technology has helped India to become the world’s second largest cotton producer from being a net importer in 2002. This was due to the increase in cotton yield from 302 kg per hectare lint in 2002-03 to 552 kg per hectare lint in 2013-14, the company said. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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