Vidarbha Cotton Farmers Welcome Maharashtra Govt. decision to Ban Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (MMB) Bt.Cotton Seed
Nagpur -12 July, 2012
Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishnna Vikhe Patil has informed Maharashtra legislative assembly yesterday which reported in the media today(copy attached) that the basis of number complaints from cotton farmers and reports of agriculture officers that Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) company has been cheating the innocent cotton farmers by supplying sub-standard seeds ,Involved in black-marketing of seed by creating official short supply and ignoring earlier notices of all unfair trade practices ,Govt. has ban sale of Bt.cotton supplied by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) as company failed to supply good quality seed even after taking huge amount of advances from debt trapped dying cotton farmers Maharashtra ,minister informed house.
“Vidarbha cotton farmers have welcomed the decision as Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) - a 50:50 joint venture between Mahyco and Monsanto Holdings Pvt. Ltd. has sub-licensed the Bollgard II and Bollgard technologies to 28 Indian seed companies mainly responsible mass farmers suicides which triggered after June 2005 –year of permission of commercial trials killer seed in Maharashtra informed today vidarbha cotton farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) convener Kishore Tiwari who is demanding the complete ban of genetically modified Bt.cotton seed in vidarbha and documenting cotton farmers suicides since 2002 .
US base multinational company who has almost developed monopoly of it’s brand Monsanto Bollgard® Bt cotton has been taking innocent cotton farmers on ride and such stern action was needed much earlier now we demand all other 28 companies sub-lised by MMB should be ban and replaced by traditional Indian cotton seed as the cost of seeds of straight varieties is much lower than Bt varieties, besides which these varieties become ready for plucking in just 150-160 days whereas BT varieties take around 180-200 days, which reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides and other nutrients substantially and unlike Bt cotton desi varieties there is no need to provide in-built protection for cotton against destructive American Bollworm Heliothis which is not the case with desi seed, Tiwari added.
Now India is largest cotton cultivator of Bt.cotton seed in 126 lakhs hector jumped from 4 lakhs hector when first it was approved for commercialization in India in 2002, followed by Bollgard® II – double-gene technology in mid-2006, by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), the Indian regulatory body for biotech crops which has was objected by leading environmental activist and now questioned by Indian parliament . the much more disputed genetic technology Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bollgard® II contains a superior double-gene technology - Cry1Ac and Cry 2Ab which provides protection against bollworms but is matter of concern due to it’s toxicity damaging environment and public health care hence we demand complete ban on GM technology in India, Tiwari urged.