Uncertainty looms large over Bt future
By ENS Economic Bureau - HYDERABAD
26th September 2012 10:32 AM
Uncertainty continues to prevail over the Indian biotechnology industry due to an indefinite moratorium imposed by the government to commercialise Bt brinjal. As a result, development of other Bt crops was likely to get delayed, according to industry body Association of Biotech-led Enterprises (ABLE)
“There’s lot of uncertainty over the future of Bt crops. Several state governments are not giving permission to conduct field trials. Bt is only one of the genetically modified technologies and due to this stalemate, we are unable to proceed work on other technologies,” said Dr V Ram Kaudinya, Chairman, ABLE.
About 11 crops, including corn, rice, okra, cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, pigeon pea, groundnut and cotton, are under various stages of development and could be delayed due to uncertainty.
It was in February, 2012, former environment minister Jairam Ramesh imposed an indefinite moratorium on Bt brinjal following widespread protests.
“Companies have invested several hundred crores to develop Bt products over the past 15 years. And future investments could be at stake if there’s no consensus on the future of this technology,” said N Seetharama, Executive Director, ABLE, Agriculture Group.
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