Indian farmers highlight higher yields from banned GMO herbicide-tolerant, insect-resistant cotton to defy nation’s biotech crop rules

| | January 6, 2020
plnting seeds
Farmers plant illegal GMO seeds in protest of India's regulations in the summer of 2019. Image: Cornell Alliance for Science
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

As farmers [headed] to Yavatmal in Maharashtra to showcase post-harvest success stories of banned [herbicide-tolerant] cotton on [Jan. 5], their act of defiance [was] challenged by different organizations, including …. Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) which has demanded action against such illegality.

“How can the state government allow such illegal activity as [the] cultivation of [an] unapproved …. transgenic crop [that] is banned in the country?” asked SJM national convenor Ashwani Mahajan.

Hundreds of farmers [gathered] in Hiwri village of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra on [Jan. 5] in their attempt to prove the unapproved variety of cotton (HTBt) gave higher yields at a more reasonable cost as compared to the approved [insect-resistant] variety (Bt cotton).

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Though the central regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), allows commercial cultivation of [an] earlier variety of transgenic cotton (Bt cotton), it has not approved the new GM variety ….

Many farmers, led by farmer organization Shetkari Sanghatana …. defied the ban and sowed HTBt cotton …. in as many as 10 districts in Maharashtra in June-July [2019].

Read full, original article: Action against illegal seed growers demanded, Maharashtra farmers gear up to show results of banned HTBT cotton

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