Take liability for failure of Bt cotton crop, seed industry tells Mahyco-Monsanto

New Delhi, Feb 24: The damage to the cotton crop last year from pink bollworm pest attacks in several states has prompted the seed industry lobby to write to technology provider, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt. Ltd (MMBL), urging it to take liability for any claims for compensation.

“It may be important for you to declare that Bollgard II (genetically modified Bt cotton) cannot give protection against pink bollworms due to development of resistance by the insect,” said a 21 February letter from National Seed Association of India (NSAI) to MMBL. Mint has a copy of the letter.

In the absence of such a declaration, domestic seed companies will face “huge claims of compensation… which are beyond the financial abilities of our member companies,” the letter said, adding, “we request you to take responsibility for any compensation claims that might arise from the cotton crop sown in 2016-17”.