Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB)today welcomed the Maharashtra government's decision to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the illegal production and sale of BT cotton seeds, which contain unapproved genes, in the state.
Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) is a joint venture between Mahyco and Monsanto India.
"We are very encouraged by the formation of the special investigation team (SIT) in Maharashtra to comprehensively investigate and curb the proliferation of illegal herbicide tolerant cotton seeds," Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) said in a statement here.
The Maharashtra government had set up a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the illegal production and sale of BT cotton seeds. The SIT, headed by state intelligence commissioner Sanjay Barve, will be assisted by Amravati divisional agriculture joint director Subhash Nagare.
Transgenic herbicide/glyphosate tolerant trait genes are used by several BT cotton seed production companies, hence an SIT is being formed to probe into this matter.
"The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Union government has so far not given permission for the production of BT cotton seeds with herbicide tolerant transgenic gene," a government resolution (GR) earlier said.
"The SIT is expected to probe the involvement of seed producing companies having original seeds of Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India), Monsanto Holdings and Monsanto India, with herbicide tolerant transgenic gene," it said.
MMB claims that the illegal cotton seeds planted include Monsanto's proprietary herbicide tolerant technology Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex (BGII-RRF). These illegal seeds are sold without regulatory and environmental approvals, or verification of gene expression.
It lobbied saying that this activity makes farmers vulnerable to exploitation by opportunistic companies seeking to benefit from such proliferation and undermines our endeavour to steward technologies in compliance with the laws in India.
The company conducts all research and regulatory trials strictly in accordance with guidelines laid down under Indian laws and strongly believe introduction of technologies must be in line with the nation's environmental norms, MMB added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)