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Sale of illegal HTBt cotton seeds doubles

The illegal cultivation of herbicide tolerant (HT) Bt cotton has seen a huge jump this year, Sale of illegal seed packets has more than doubled from 30 lakh last year to 75 lakh this year.

  • BT Cotton is a genetically modified crops that produces an insecticide to combat the Cotton bollworm, a common pest.
  • GM crop has a gene artificially inserted from another species to provide some desired properties like pest resistance herbicide tolerance drought resistance
  • However, concerns are raised over its negative impact on Environment human health and crop diversity
  • Currently BT Cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India but herbicide tolerant BT Cotton has not been approved by regulators. T
  • They are available in the black market along with BT brinjal and HT Soya seeds.
  • HTbt Cotton variant makes the plant resistant to the Herbicide glyphosate
  • Glyphosate has carcinogenic effect and can also result in spread of herbicide resistance to near by plants through pollination
  • Strains of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produce over 200 different BT toxins, each harmful to different insects.
  • Most notably, BT toxins are insecticidal to the larvae of moths and butterflies, beetles, cotton bollworms and flies but are harmless to other forms of life.
  • In 2002, a joint venture between Monsanto and Mahyco introduced BT cotton to India.
  • In 2011, India grew the largest GM cotton crop at 10.6 million hectares.
Tags: Current Affairs, Economy

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