Bt cotton seeds effective, MMBL writes to Indian minister

US firm Monsanto’s Indian joint venture Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMBL) has termed the threat by industry body National Seed Association of India (NSAI) to stop the sale of its transgenic Bt cotton seeds as ‘irresponsible’ and has asserted in a letter to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh that its Bt seeds continue to be effective in controlling pest.

Blaming MMBL for loss of Bt cotton crop this Kharif season in Maharashtra due to pink bollworm infestation, NSAI recently asked the company to take ‘complete responsibility’, or else its members will not sell any Bt cotton seeds.

Categorically disagreeing with NSAI’s stand, MMBL termed it anti-farmer as the resistance development in pests is a natural process. Non-adoption of product usage guidelines has led to pink bollworm infestation in Maharashtra but it has been managed well in many states including Gujarat during Kharif 2017, a news agency report quoted the MMBL letter as saying.

The company assured full support in assisting the central and state governments to curb this problem.

MMBL has also written a separate letter to NSAI denying responsibility for development of resistance to pink bollworm in cotton and hence not liable to pay any compensation.

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