Everything you should know about India’s pro-GMO farmers defying ban on biotech crops

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With a few Haryana farmers symbolically defying a government restriction against sowing banned [GMO] Cotton in Hisar, and the government determined to curb its spread, The Indian Express explains the complex problem and arguments that both sides present.

Herbicide-tolerant Bt (HT Bt) Cotton is genetically modified crop of unapproved genes which is not permissible in India. Technically, herbicide is like a poison which is used to destroy unwanted vegetation. The technique in the HT Bt Cotton makes the crop resistant to herbicide following modification in genes of the seeds.

A section of farmers who demand approval for cultivation of HT Bt Cotton say that they should be allowed to use the latest technologies in the agriculture including genetically modified (GM) crops …. However, the Indian government in 2010 had imposed a moratorium, leaving Bt Cotton as the only genetically modified crop permitted for cultivation in the country.

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Related article:  'Bad stuff is just easier to believe': Why GMO disinformation captures consumer attention

Leading farmers organizations in Haryana like BKU led by Gurnam Singh Chaduni have strongly opposed the idea of HT Bt cotton and Bt brinjal. “The protest by a group is just part of tactics of seed companies which are involved in the production of seeds of HT Bt Cotton and Bt Brinjal.”

Read full, original article: Explained: The GM cotton conundrum

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