Environmentalist Petitions India’s Court for GMO Moratorium

GMO India: Supporters of Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), protest against genetically modified mustard outside the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. The ministry had earlier made public an all clear report given to genetically modified mustard by a technical body which also said that it was fit for consumption. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Supporters of Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), protest against genetically modified mustard outside the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. The ministry had earlier made public an all clear report given to genetically modified mustard by a technical body which also said that it was fit for consumption. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Continue reading “Environmentalist Petitions India’s Court for GMO Moratorium”

Desi Seeds
Compete with Monsanto

Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

In this IndiaTimes article, Madhvi Sally reports that India is preparing to release an indigenous GM cotton. The new variety reportedly does not infringe on Monsanto’s intellectual property rights and should produce a better yield than that previously used. The key genetic trait is the time it takes from planting to harvest. This strain reduces that time by about a third, reducing the chance for pests to ruin the crop (late season pink bollworm infestation).

GM Mustard Trials Complete

Mustard Fields in Rajasthan. GMO mustard - India
Mustard Fields in Rajasthan. By Trees ForTheFuture [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
An application from Delhi University is being considered by the Rajasthan government to allow GM mustard to be the first GM crop to be cutivated commercially in India. Rajasthan is the country’s top producer of mustard. There is opposition to the move, however. Activists have started a petition on change.org that the government not allow the genetically modified mustard to be grown. The opposition also cites the failure of Bt cotton. Read the entire story, here on the Times of India.

Monsanto Withdraws
Cotton Seed from India

Cotton plant, Texas, 1996. Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. ==Source== http://photogallery.nrcs.usda.gov/Index.asp
Cotton plant, Texas, 1996. Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In this Bloomberg piece, Lydia Mulvany reports that the world’s largest seed seller, Monsanto, has pulled the regulatory application for GM cotton seeds in India. That government has been debating with the agri-giant over royalty fees for their product, known as Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex. Monsanto sells seed in India through a third party, which licenses the technology from Monsanto and collects fees.

Bangladesh’s Chowdhury
Greenlights GMOs

Matia Chowdhury, Bangladeshi Minister of Agriculture. By IRRI Photos [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Matia Chowdhury, Bangladeshi Minister of Agriculture. By IRRI Photos [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In a meeting on Saturday, Banglidesh’s Agriculture minister announced that the country will make use of GMO crops in it’s efforts to feed it’s people. She explained that in the same way that they used hybrid technology after 1996, they’ll use GMOs to boost production of crops. Read the Daily Sun story.

Bt Brinjal Farmer Speaks Out

Eggplant farmer, Mohammad Hafizur Rahman
Eggplant farmer, Mohammad Hafizur Rahman

Check out this video of Bengladesh farmer, Mohammad Hafizur Rahman setting straight the record about his Bt Brinjal crop. If we can believe the translation and subtitles, he claims to have a 100% increase in yield using genetically modified Bt Brinjal (eggplant). Evidently, an earlier news report about his fields dying prematurely were unfounded (if you read the comments in this story by the Alliance for Science (Cornell), there is some push back from the original reporter covering the story). Continue reading “Bt Brinjal Farmer Speaks Out”