GM Cotton Seed

  • IASbaba
  • June 4, 2022
  • 0
Science and Technology
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In News: Illegal variety occupies about a fifth of GM cotton seed market

  • A flourishing illegal trade in a new unapproved herbicide-tolerant variety has come to occupy nearly a fifth of the genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds market in India.
  • Farmers’ organizations say since the unapproved seeds help them in weed management and cut costs, they would continue to use it.
  • The illegal seed manufacturers claim the presence of herbicide trait (HTBt) in the seeds they sell are capable of controlling pink bollworm.
  • Bayer-Mahyco has submitted the application for the approval for HTBt cotton last year, the regulator (GEAC) is yet to take a call.

Why HTBt?

  • Since its introduction two decades ago, Bt cotton has led to a dramatic rise in India’s cotton yield and thereby, production but over the last two-three years, the yield has come down marginally.
  • Since the introduction of Bollgard-I, which was the country’s first GM crop approved for commercialisation in 2002, followed by Bollgard II, a pest-resistant variety which protects the crop from bollworm, in 2006, the GEAC has not approved any new varieties.

  • HTBt plants allow farmers to spray herbicides to get rid of weeds without harming the plants
  • Cotton production in the 2021-22 crop years (July-June) declined 5% to 34 million bales (MB) from its peak of 35.9 MB in 2013-14.

What should be done?

  • Since the illegal seeds contain unknown and unapproved traits, these could contaminate regular seeds, thereby putting legitimate seed growers at risk
  • The government should facilitate faster approval of newly-developed seeds so that farmers get access to quality seeds and thereby, reduce the labour cost

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee

  • GEAC is India’s top biotech regulatory agency and a statutory organization under the Environment Protection Act, 1986
  • It functions under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  • It is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
  • The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
  • GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF & CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the (2015)

  1. Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
  2. Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
  3. Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  4. Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Source: Financial Express 

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel –

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....

Sign Up To Receive Regular Updates