The Swadeshi Jagran Manch
(SJM), along with Vandana Shiva
of Navdanya, on Friday alleged global seed major Monsanto
has illegally introduced an herbicide-resistant genetically modified organism (round-up ready flex Bt cotton) known to cause cancer into the country.
Round-up ready Bt cotton
was introduced in bollgard-2 packages, the organisations alleged. They also sought a ban on the biotech major, alleging it illegally introduced a genetically modified cotton variety in the country that led to “severe environmental and health hazards”.
The Manch and Shiva in a joint press conference on Friday said round-up, a glyphosate-based herbicide, has been declared a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
After reports of contamination in their fields, farmers collected samples from various areas and sent them to the Central Institute for Cotton Research, where the presence of round-up ready Bt cotton
was confirmed. SJM also said samples collected from six fields tested positive for round-up ready flex packaged as bollgard-2.
replied it conducts its businesses in a transparent and ethical manner and in adherence with the laws of the land. Commercialisation of any new technology in India happens only after it secures the requisite permissions from the regulatory authorities, it said.
is one of the most widely used and comprehensively evaluated herbicides with a 40-year history of safe use. The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) as recently as March 2017, after a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the safety data on glyphosate, affirmed glyphosate
is safe and not a carcinogen.
ECHA’s conclusions are highly regarded within and outside Europe as an important reference for chemical regulation,” Monsanto