Aftershock of Monsanto being stripped of its patent control over Indian Bt GMO cotton: It may doom domestic crop research, too

Deepak Pental
Deepak Pental, inventor of genetically modified mustard Image: Smart Indian Agriculture

Sections of the government, egged on by powerful Andhra seed companies, are probably cheering the judgment of the Delhi high court’s division bench that just declared Monsanto’s Bollgard-II patent illegal. Given how this will affect the future of Indian agriculture, though, they haven’t understood the importance of the judgment since its implications go beyond Monsanto.

Indeed, they will also impact patents by locals such as Deepak Pental whose GM mustard is awaiting government approval —since Pental’s research was funded by the government-created National Dairy Development Board that spearheaded India’s milk revolution, though, he may not be interested in a patent.

The government … has gone out of its way to hit Monsanto, on grounds it was over-charging farmers even though few farmers objected to Monsanto’s tariff.

The government’s stance never made sense since, with 95% of the cotton crop using Bt technology, it was obvious farmers thought the cost-benefit was favourable.

So, at a time when India most needs genetic modification (GM) technology to raise yields, to protect against certain pests, to provide protection against water stress or floods, the court has ensured no GM patents can be given.

Read full, original post: Bye bye, Bt cotton, indeed any GM crop

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