INDIA: Monsanto to deprive bt cotton transgenic technology from China

NEW DELHI: The US biotech major, Monsanto is planning to transfer its next generation transgenic technology to India after experiencing problems in China for its second generation Bt technology due to intellectual property violation, executive vice president, Monsanto Inc, Jerry Steiner said here on March 16.

Jerry Steiner commented that China has no respect for intellectual property rights and are ready to transfer next generation transgenic technology to India as they are concentrating on developing new transgenic traits of three key crops like corn, soybeans and cotton.

The crops will be developed for drought resistance, for ensuring higher and stable yields in rain fed areas and for ensuring lesser use of nitrogenous fertilizers.

Steiner claimed that Bt cotton cultivation has helped farmers raise their income and the very fact that area under Bt cotton is increasing shows the growing acceptability among farmers.

Monsanto has transferred Bt technology to the joint venture Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) and MMB apart from marketing Bt cotton seeds produced by Mahyco has sub-licensed the technology to 23 Indian seed companies.

However, he admitted there were failure of Bt cotton crops in some areas of the country and attributed it to ‘weather conditions’; whereas on the high pricing issue of Bt cotton seeds stated that it is a competitive market and farmers buy our seeds despite the price factor.

He further added that consumers’ preference may be different, but farmers gain through cultivation as some of the domestic industry entrepreneurs raised the issue of global consumers not preferring GM food, which may come in the way of export prospects.

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Added: March 17, 2007 Source: Agencies
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