Sale of illegal HTBt cotton seeds doubles

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Sale of illegal HTBt cotton seeds doubles

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III – Economy; Biotechnology 

In news  

  • The illegal cultivation of herbicide tolerant (HT) Bt cotton has seen a huge jump this year, 
  • Sale of illegal seed packets has more than doubled from 30 lakh last year to 75 lakh this year. 
  • BT Cotton is a genetically modified crops that produces an insecticide to combat the Cotton bollworm, a common pest.  
  • GM crop has a gene artificially inserted from another species to provide some desired properties like pest resistance herbicide tolerance drought resistance 
  • However, concerns are raised over its negative impact on Environment human health and crop diversity  
  • Currently BT Cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in India but herbicide tolerant BT Cotton has not been approved by regulators. T 
  • They are available in the black market along with BT brinjal and HT Soya seeds.  
  • HTbt Cotton variant makes the plant resistant to the Herbicide glyphosate  
  • Glyphosate has carcinogenic effect and can also result in spread of herbicide resistance to near by plants through pollination  

DO you know? 

  • Regulatory Framework for approval of GM crops is covered under  the Environment protection Act 1986  
  • Genetic engineering appraisal committee under Ministry of Environment, forest and climate change is Apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops in India 
  • Cartagena protocol on biosafety provides well-defined mechanism of regulation of GM crops including biosafety evaluation and environmental release

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