Three hundred and first report on genetically modified crops and its impact on environment

Raising doubts about government claims that production of cotton has increased post commercialisation of Bt cotton, a parliamentary panel has asked the union ministry of environment and forest to undertake a comprehensive study to bring out clarity in the matter. The parliamentary standing committee on science & technology and environment and forests in its report observed that India’s cotton yields increased by 69 percent in the 5 years (2000-2005) when Bt cotton was less than 6 percent of total cotton area, but by only 10 percent in the ten years from 2005 to 2015 when Bt cotton grew to 94 percent of total cotton area. Bt cotton was introduced in India in 2002. The Committee is of the considered view that this duality of the claims about the increase in the yield of cotton after its commercialisation in the country needs further examination and clarification. The environment ministry should undertake a comprehensive study to bring out clarity in the matter. The Committee was of the view that the relevant data furnished by the government agencies for its consideration speaks volume about the success of Bt cotton in the country but on the contrary, the members of the civil society informed it that the production of cotton in the country has increased largely due to an increase in area under cotton, significant increase in irrigation and fertile groundnut areas shifting to cotton.