Palaces For The People
Tuesday, December 09, 2003

INDIA: Govt. Admits Receiving Complaints On Failure Of Bt Cotton
NEW DELHI: Admitting that it had received complaints on the failure of Bt cotton, the first Monsanto-Mahyco developed genetically modified (GM) crop, the Government said it was ready to hold investigation in this regard.

Replying to queries by Opposition members during the question hour, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr. Hukamdeo Narayan Yadav, said the Government, examining the performance of the first transgenic crop allowed to be cultivated in five Indian States last season, however found favorable results of crop also.

Charging Monsanto, an American seed multinational, with experimenting on Indian farmers, Opposition members sought compensation to the growers who had suffered loss with the sowing of Bt cot- ton.

Evading a direct reply on the demand of compensation to the farmers, Mr. Yadav said, the Government was ready for holding investigation in this regard.

Raising the issue, Mr. Madhusudan Mistri (Cong) and Dr. DSouza (JD- S) wanted to know what was the Government's policy on sowing of GM crops in the country and accused that some officials responsible for allowing commercial cultivation of Bt cotton were in league with Monsanto and its Indian subsidiary, Mahyco.

However, the Minister denied the charge, saying that the Bt Cotton was put to trial for seven years before allowing its cultivation in Southern and Western states.

The Opposition members were up on their feet, disputing the Minister's claim on the trials and asserted that they were done in a lop-sided manner for only four years as the multinational company had managed to get permission for the cultivation of Bt cotton. -Agencies.

December 9, 2003 (today)

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