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A flood of illegal GM cotton underscores India’s policy failures on GM crops

Desperate farmers, faced with ever increasing input costs and newly emerging threats to yields from resistant pests, are voting with their feet and simply planting GM crops, illegal or not. This unregulated mixing of GM foods into the agriculture supply chain has unforeseeable consequences of the environment as well as safety of consumers

May 13, 2022 / 02:30 PM IST
A flood of illegal GM cotton underscores India’s policy failures on GM crops

Representational image

Genetically modified cotton – popularly known as Bt cotton, after the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis from which the inserted gene is derived – was first cleared for commercial cultivation in India twenty years ago – on March 26, 2002, to be exact – by the first BJP government led by AB Vajpayee. So far, it remains the only legally cultivable GM crop in India. On the face of it, Bt cotton has done extraordinarily well, accounting for over 90 percent...

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