The Maharashtra government has lifted the ban on sale of Bt Cotton seeds supplied by Mahyco Seeds for the coming Kharif season "in public interest".

The National Biodiversity Authority has filed the country’s first ever bio-piracy criminal case against US agrochemicals giant Monsanto and its Indian partner Mahyco on the Bt brinjal issue in a Ka

A chargesheet has been filed against Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco), a subsidiary of Monsanto, the US agri business firm, for violating the bio-piracy laws in developing Bt Brinjal varie

This paper describes the series of events which took place in India from the development of Bt brinjal to its initial approval by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)a to the declaration of a moratorium on it by the Minister of Environment & Forests and events thereafter.

It will be a blow to Indian science, it says

The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that the recommendations of the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) seeking a 10-year moratorium on field trials on Genetically Modified (GM) crops will be highly detrimental and will not be in national interest. “Based on current overall status of food safety evaluation of Bt. Transgenics, including the data on Bt. Cotton and Bt. Brinjal examined by the TEC, and in accordance with the precautionary principle, the TEC recommends a 10-year moratorium on field trials of Bt. Transgenics in all food crops,” the TEC said in its interim report submitted to the Supreme Court. “Another factor is the possibility of contamination of non-GM food by GM food.”

A Supreme Court-mandated committee of technical experts comprising scientists from top public research laboratories and academic institutions has recommended a ten-year moratorium on field trials of Bt transgenics in all food crops that are directly consumed by people.

National Biodiversity Authority chairman Dr Balakrishna Pisupati said the abundant biodiversity of India exists to be shared with public and private scientific research organisations, both inland and abroad.

Speaking on the sidelines of the MoP-6, Dr Pisupati said, “While we agree that there has been unregulated use of our plants by multinationals that saw biopiracy cases filed against them, it will be foolish to restrict ethical access to the rich biodiversity of India by closing our doors to research. We have to keep aside the storms of sensational debate and look into the science of it.”

A group of researchers and industry writers have constructed a narrative of technological triumph for Bt cotton in India, based on an empirical record of superior performance compared to conventional seed. Counterclaims of Bt cotton failure are attributed to mutually reinforcing interactions among non-governmental organisations which avoid rigorous comparisons. However, researchers and the biotechnology industry are also engaged in a similar authentication loop for generating, validating, and publicising such facts.

New Delhi The Centre has sought details from the Maharashtra government about reasons for cancelling the licence of private seed firm Mahyco to sell Bt cotton seeds in the state.

The Union Agriculture Ministry has also asked Mahyco to submit its views, a senior government official said. On August 8, the state government had issued an order cancelling the licence of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) to sell Bt cotton seeds with immediate effect, following various complaints against the company for creating artificial shortage and charging higher prices.

New Delhi Maharashtra has banned the sale and distribution of the genetically modified cotton seeds of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) with immediate effect on charges of supplying inferior quality seeds, a senior state government official said on Thursday.

“Mahyco has not received any official communication from the Maharashtra government about the cancellation of its license to sell Bt cotton seeds in the state,” the company said in a statement. “Mahyco has complied with all the guidelines set by the state agriculture department and has always provided required information to the agriculture department....We will address the concerns raised by the authority once we have received the official communication from the department,” the statement added.