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Monsanto, 5 Other Firms Booked After Pests Ruin ‘Resistant’ BT Cotton Crops in Yavatmal

The company, which sells genetically engineered seeds, had sold its products to farmers by claiming that its BT cotton seeds are immune to the wily worm that eats cotton balls, officials said.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:December 12, 2017, 7:23 PM IST
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Monsanto, 5 Other Firms Booked After Pests Ruin ‘Resistant’ BT Cotton Crops in Yavatmal
File image of a hoarding showing US biotech giant, Monsanto. (Photo: Reuters)
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Mumbai: An FIR has been registered against US biotech major, Monsanto, in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region after cotton farmers reported big losses because of pink bollworm infestation.

The company, which sells genetically engineered seeds, had sold its products to farmers by claiming that its BT cotton seeds are immune to the wily worm that eats cotton balls, officials said.

“The companies deceived not just the farmers, but also the government,” a senior government official told CNN-News18.

The agriculture department had written to Maharashtra police, seeking registration of a complaint against Monsanto and five other companies on December 4.

“We received complaints from farmers that they faced losses due to pink bollworm. The companies had claimed, and had even advertised that their BT Cotton seeds are resistant to the infestation. The farmers believed in these claims. In the hope that they will get high yields, they cultivated BT cotton. But an inspection by our district level committee found that large-scale pink bollworm infestation has ruined the crop,” the letter written to Vadgaon Road police station stated.

“The farmers have been deceived and they have had to suffer financial losses. This has caused public outrage against the government. Of course, these companies have deceived the government too. Please register a complaint against them for deceiving the government and the farmers,” it further said.

Other companies that have been booked are Ajit seeds private limited, Ankur seeds private limited, Nuziveedu seeds limited, Kaweri seeds company ltd and Rasil seeds pvt limited.

The government also collected seeds from farmers to test for herbicide tolerance. Of the 200 samples sent for testing, only 30 per cent were found positive. However, as the farmers were unable to give information from where they purchased these seeds, the government has not been able to identify the companies involved in this.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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