Despite dozens of trials, India’s biotech crops remain ‘stymied politically’

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. . .[A]fter a decade of Monsanto’s efforts with Mahyco to win Indian-government approval for biotech food crops, . . . [they] remain in limbo, stymied by environmentalist opposition, farmer skepticism and bureaucratic inertia. Despite dozens of biotech-food-crop trials in India, the country has approved none for commercial cultivation.

“What greater case study in terms of food security than a country that will soon have more people than any other country in the world?” said Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer. “To see a country that has the potential and intellectual ability to be a leader in these biotech advances, to be stymied politically, I think it’s a tragedy.”

. . . .

Meanwhile, Monsanto’s established cotton business in India faces new threats, including new government price controls around seed genetics and an antitrust probe into pricing practices, . . .

Monsanto’s experience is part of a broader backlash against genetically engineered crops from a mix of environmentalists, consumer groups and nationalism thwarting the technology’s expansion after years of growth. . . .

. . . .

India’s food-security concerns may lead it to soften its stance, seed industry officials say. The country is a big importer of edible oil and lentils–protein sources for many mired in poverty–and has high child-malnutrition rates. GMO proponents say biotech seeds would increase production of protein-rich crops on India’s mostly small farms, which the United Nations numbers at 138 million.

. . . .

India’s Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the petition to bar GMO-crop cultivation. . . .

Read full, original post: Why Monsanto”s Biotech-Food Business Isn”t Growing in India

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