India moves to restrict cultivation of illegal but easily acquired GMO herbicide-tolerant, insect-resistant cotton

| | January 16, 2020
bt cotton
Credit: India Today
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Amid reports of cultivation of [an] unapproved variety of transgenic HTBt [herbicide-tolerant, insect-resistant] cotton seeds, the Union environment ministry has written to the chief secretary of Maharashtra for “taking necessary action” and requested the state to “provide lateral flow strip test kits for preliminary field level testing” to frontline staff who visit the fields for inspections.

Since cultivation of [the] unapproved variety of genetically modified (GM) seeds is illegal in India, it is the responsibility of chief secretary, being chairperson for the State Biotechnology Coordination Committee (SBCC), to take action against such practice.

Farmers, however told [the Times of India] during farm visits to different villages in Yavatmal and Wardha districts …. that they did not find any difficulty in procuring HTBt seeds. “Though such seeds are not sold by licensed seed retailers, we could get it easily through network of farmers,” said Madhusudan Harne at village Shegaon (Kund) of Hinganghat taluk in Wardha district. Harne planted both approved (Bt cotton) and unapproved (HTBt cotton) varieties of seeds in his separate farms.

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Read full, original article: HTBt seeds illegal but it’s easy to procure them, say farmers

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