Farmers across India’s cotton-growing regions could find an unexpected opportunity flowing from a dispute between Monsanto’s seed affiliate and the Indian government, which insists on regulating prices for some of its GMO cotton seed.
Monsanto has threatened to embargo sales of its latest version of insect-resistant seed if price restrictions stand. Last year, nine Indian seed marketers balked at paying Monsanto royalties for using the Bollgard transgenic traits. Yields of cotton in India rose during the first eight years after the Bt-type traits were introduced in 2001, then flattened out after 2008 and have now begun to decline as resistant insects spread. India’s total cotton production began falling with the 2014 season.
Here’s the opportunity for farmers: to rediscover how productive, and healthy, their cotton and family lives can be without transgenics.
The case for India’s monitoring of GMO prices and GMOs in general, is eloquently described by Indian agriculturist Vandana Shiva in her analysis at this link.
Part of Vandana Shiva’s reasoning:
“Over 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because of extraction of illegal royalties. This crime must stop, which is why this writer joined Navdanya Seed Savers who submitted 30,000 signatures to the Agriculture Ministry to uphold the Seed Price Control Order, 2015, issued in December 2015 and the “Licensing and Formats for GM Technology Agreements Guidelines, 2016 issued on May 18.”