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30.08.2017 |

Experts: Bt cotton no longer resistant to bollworm

Nagpur: Incidents of pink bollworm attack on Bt cotton this year again have alarmed the agriculture authorities. The state agriculture commissioner has taken up the matter with the Union government and has even suggested reconsideration of approval given to genetically modified Bt cotton seeds that are supposed to be resistant to bollworm and other infestations.

The chief of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Mission (the state government task force to deal with farm distress) Kishore Tiwari has claimed this year the situation could be worse as it is found that the Bt cotton seeds were now susceptible to attack of not only pink worm, but also thips , mealybug and regular bollworm. With over 40 lakh hectares under cotton cultivation, Maharashtra has largest area of cotton crop in the country.

The state agriculture commissioner S Kendrekar is believed to have apprised deputy director (quality control) of Union agriculture ministry on August 1 about the situation. According to him, last year too incidents of pink worm attacks were reported and confirmed by various government agencies and experts of city-based Central Institute of Cotton Research. Following that, ban was imposed on seeds of one company that had licence from Monsanto, the multinational that pioneered and introduced genetically altered Bt Cotton seeds under brand names BG I and later BG II.

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