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Ryots sow seeds of defiance

2 min read
  1. Shetkari Sanghatana, a farmers’ body in Maharashtra, has organised a “civil disobedience” movement where they sowed unapproved Genetically Modified seeds of cotton and brinjal as mark of protest against the central government’s indecisiveness in approving the next generation of genetically modified (GM) cotton.
  2. The repeated outbreak of pink bollworm infestation on cotton crops despite farmers using BG-2, Monsanto’s second generational insecticidal technology for cotton has been blamed by the farmers’ body on Indian government’s ban on testing further enhanced version of the seed.
  3. Monsanto, which has a monopoly of Bt Cotton seeds in India, had in 2013 moved an application with the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee seeking approval for the third generation variety of the seed. However, in 2016, it withdrew its application owing to several regulatory issues.
  4. Genetically modified crops are plants in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. The only GM crop permitted for cultivation in India by the Central Government is Bt cotton.
  5. Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) is apex body under Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for regulating manufacturing, use, import, export and storage of hazardous microorganisms or genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) and cells in the country.
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