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Bt Cotton harmless, stresses Dr. Deshpandey

May '07
L A Deshpandey, Head, Crop Improvement, Central Institute for Cotton Research
Bt cotton issue has emerged as the major concern of textile industry, with experts offering mixed views.

Dr. L A Deshpandey, Head of Crop Improvement, Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) explained the difference between Bt cotton seeds and spurious seeds to Fibre2fashion, “These two seeds are genetically different. The first generation seed of Bt is uniform and the spurious seeds which is mostly second generation seed segregates for Bt and fibre characters and is not desirable. Spurious seeds are second generation seeds, these genes segregate to 3:1 ratio. In that case 75 percent of the plant had Bt genes in spurious genes.”

Rejecting the claims the Bt seeds have adverse effects, Dr stressed, “Bt. Cotton seeds are harmless. The toxin in Bt cotton is not harmful for mammals.”

Talking about authorized seeds, Deshpandey, stated, “There is no control of Government Agency. There is Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of India (GEAC), it is a committee that approves the proposal and it is considered as recommendation by the companies.”

He further informed that this year 75-80 percent area will be covered by cultivation of Bt seeds.

Statistics show that Gujarat is the top cotton producing state in India and also provides good quality. The western state is also No 1 in cotton export business.

Fibre2fashion, News Desk - India

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