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SALE OF HERBICIDE TOLERANT (HT) Bt COTTON SALE HAS DOUBLED

SALE OF HERBICIDE TOLERANT (HT) Bt COTTON SALE HAS DOUBLED

Context:

The unlawful cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) Bt cotton has seen an immense leap year, with seed producers asserting that the sale of illegal seed packets has more than doubled from 30 lakh last year to 75 lakh in 2021.

About:

  • Industry halls have kept in touch with the Agriculture Ministry, requesting that a move be made to stop such deals and rebuff wrongdoers, noting that cultivation of the genetically modified cotton variant has serious environmental and economic consequences.

Bt Cotton:

  • So far, it is the only transgenic crop that has been approved by the Centre for commercial cultivation in India.
  • It has been genetically modified (GM) to create an insecticide to battle the cotton bollworm, a common pest.

Herbicide Tolerant Bt (HTBt) Cotton:

  • The HTBt cotton variant adds another layer of modification,  making the plant impervious to the herbicide glyphosate, yet has not been endorsed by regulators.
  • Fears incorporate glyphosate having a carcinogenic effect, just as the unchecked spread of herbicide protection from close by plants through pollination, creating a variety of superweeds.

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