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With US-based seed giant Monsanto facing regulatory heat in India over monopoly concerns, the government has expedited work to bring out a local genetically-modified version of cotton seed by next year.
“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 Pattanayak told PTI.
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CICR could have come out with GM cotton many years back had the biotechnology regulator GEAC not prevented it from going ahead with research in the absence of clarity on patent rights on Monsanto’s Bt cotton technology, sources said.
But last year, the NDA government clarified that Monsanto has patent rights on second generation Bollgard II technology and not on earlier version Bollgard I.
After the government’s clarification, sources said many seed companies have approached CICR while others are doing research on their own to bring their non-hybrid Bt cotton seeds in the market in the next few years.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to promote cultivation of indigenous cotton varieties this year.
Read full, original post: Government wants local GM cotton seed by next year to check Monsanto