Monsanto Backs Out of New GM Cotton Initiative in India

Monsanto cotton india

By Brandon Turbeville

In late August 2016, Monsanto withdrew its application which sought approval for its new version of genetically modified cotton seeds in India.

There has been a dispute between Monsanto and New Delhi for quite some time surrounding prices Monsanto charges for the GMO cotton seeds and the corporation’s resistance to sharing its technology with local Indian seed companies.

Monsanto spokesman stated that the withdrawal of the application was “an outcome of the uncertainty in the business and regulatory environment.” He did however provide reassurance that the decision had “no impact on our current cotton portfolio being sold in India.”

On July 5th, Maharashatra Hybrid Seeds Coltd (MAHYCO), Monsanto’s “technology partner” in India highlighted a government proposal that would have required Monsanto to share its biotechnology products with local Indian seed companies.

The letter said that the government proposal “alarmed us and raised serious concerns about the protection of intellectual property rights.”

After complaints by Monsanto and other multi-national seed companies, the Indian government temporarily withdrew its order so that it could have time to hear feedback from stakeholders. MAYCO has now asked the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee), the Indian seed regulator, to return the data and other material submitted by Monsanto as part of their application of Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex.

Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex is the next installment of biotechnology building on Bollgard II which was introduced in 2006 but is becoming more and more vulnerable to bollworms.

Monsanto is clearly attempting to put a gun to the head of the Indian government and to hold Indian farmers as hostage. The ransom they are demanding is proprietary monopoly and high prices for its seeds.

Because GMO biotech is a constant upgrade of technology designed to fight the upgraded ecological and agricultural disasters that have resulted from the use of biotechnology in the first place, Monsanto now has India over a barrel.

Now that Indian farmers are facing pesticide-resistant insects, and those specifically resistant to the hyped up pesticides sold by Monsanto (and thus created by Monsanto), the withdrawal of any new technology could put Indian farmers at risk of pestilence and eventual collapse of their cotton industry.

Outside of the United States, India is one of Monsanto’s largest clients and the corporation clearly believes that the Indian government will soon knuckle under.

But India should view the attempted strong-arm by Monsanto as a blessing in disguise. Now the country is being given the impetus for a move away from corporate-dominated agriculture and the control that Big Business has over the food supply of a billion people.

We encourage India to begin looking for ways for them to reclaim their agriculture and food supply and slowly pushing out Big Ag corporations like Monsanto.

Regardless of the consequences of resisting Monsanto in the short term, they will far outweigh the consequences of knuckling under in the long term. As one of the world’s most populated countries, and one of Monsanto’s largest customers, India must respond by informing Monsanto that the corporation is in no position to bargain.

The Indian government must immediately prepare a program to rescue small farmers and deal accordingly with larger ones. India must then begin to move forward on the transition from a GM-dependent form of agriculture to traditional production complete with a ban on open-air GM cultivation for non-scientific purposes.

The Indian government must begin to use all of its resources to initiate a transitioning process from Monsanto’s GM cotton to traditional methods of production. If Monsanto resists, it should be reminded that it is the prerogative of national governments to seize foreign entities when national security is at state. Certainly, the Indian food supply and one of its top agricultural exports would fall under this category.

It is time for India to reassert its national sovereignty and provide its people and the rest of the world with what they both truly desire: clean food and agricultural products that are not beholden to vulturistic corporations.

This article (Monsanto Backs Out of New GM Cotton Initiative in India) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with  attribution to Brandon Turbeville, source article and Natural Blaze.com, keeping all links and bio intact.

Brandon Turbevillearticle archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

  • Monterey Jack

    GM for resistance to herbicides is the Devil here, I think. As weeds become resistant, dosages of herbicide must go up. Herbicide, while not killing GM food crops, does reduce their nutritional value, or so I’ve read. Does it also increase a plant’s vulnerability to insects? This article seems to imply that it does.

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