Indian state Maharashtra waiting on federal government to ban sale of glyphosate herbicide

Image: Diptendu Dutta/AFP

After questions were raised in a meeting chaired by union agriculture secretary over the rationale in issuing licences for sale of glyphosate-based herbicides in non-tea growing states, Maharashtra government is waiting for directives from Centre on barring its sale. The chemical is linked with sale of illegal herbicide tolerant (HT) seeds. The meeting, which was attended by senior officials of state’s agriculture department, was held a fortnight ago.

US biotech giant Monsanto is one of the major manufacturers of glyphosate which is recommended for tea plantations. In Maharashtra, glyphosate-based herbicides are largely used in cotton fields. The state too has the powers to stop issuing the licences, which have not been exercised yet even as cotton sowing has already begun in different pockets.

Related article:  US soybean and corn farmers fear plant-based burgers and glyphosate lawsuits signal uncertain future

Glyphosate is considered to be the root cause for spread of illegal herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seeds in the state. A special investigation team (SIT) was formed last week to probe infiltration of the illegal seeds.

Ht seeds are genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides which are sprayed to kill the weeds on the farm.

Andhra Pradesh government barred sale of glyphosate-based herbicides during cotton season last year itself.

Read full, original article: Maharashtra waits for Centre’s word to bar glyphosate

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