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Monsanto to continue research on GM crops in India

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 21:13

New Delhi: A day after the Indian government placed an indefinite moratorium on commercial cultivation of Bt Brinjal, US-based firm Monsanto, which owns a stake in the Indian company developing the genetically modified (GM) product, said Wednesday that research on GM crops would continue.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Tuesday rejected Bt Brinjal saying that tests certifying the product on health and environment grounds were inadequate. He also pointed to the lack of consensus within the scientific community to allow Bt Brinjal.
While placing a moratorium on it`s commercial release, the ministry maintained there was no stay on research on biotechnology in agriculture.

"In keeping with the same, Monsanto will continue to conduct research in our focus crops - cotton, corn and vegetables, in compliance with the regulatory protocols. Monsanto believes better seed, biotech-enhancements, and improved agronomic practices hold the long-term solution to increasing crop productivity sustainably," the company said in a statement.

Monsanto maintained that Bt Brinjal was indigenously developed by Indian seed and biotech company Mahyco, using Monsanto`s patent gene, in collaboration with public sector institutions.

"Monsanto`s association with Mahyco is restricted to the extent of a minority stake of 26 percent in the company, through Monsanto Holdings Private Limited - a 100 percent subsidiary of Monsanto Company, US," the statement added.

In India, Monsanto`s business is managed under two other entities -- Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited (MMB) a 50:50 joint venture, and Monsanto India Limited (MIL) in which Monsanto has a 72 percent indirect and direct stake.


First Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 21:13

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