Dispute between Monsanto, Indian seed company could upend world’s largest cotton-producing market

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A little-known cotton seed company has taken on Monsanto, with the aid of a right-wing Hindu group that helped propel the Indian prime minister to power. The dispute threatens to upend the world’s largest cotton-producing market.

Monsanto’s Indian joint venture [July 2016] withdrew its application to introduce a new generation of cotton seed technology to India. The existing version, in India for a decade, is losing effectiveness against bollworms, which can wipe out crops. If another company doesn’t step into the breach, agricultural economists warn the dispute could damage India’s cotton-growing sector – which recently surpassed China’s as the world’s biggest and last year accounted for more than a quarter of global output, with a value of over $8.5 billion.

[T]he rules of doing business in India have changed. With the rise to power of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 on a groundswell of Hindu nationalism, newly assertive right-wing groups, suspicious of foreign influence and particularly outspoken against large multinationals like Monsanto, now hold sway in the government.

“It is important for all of us to unite to wage a war against Monsanto,” [said Prabhakar Kelkar, vice president of a powerful Hindu nationalist group’s farmers’ union.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Seed giant Monsanto meets its match as Hindu nationalists assert power in Modi’s India

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