CICR Starts Fresh Bt Cotton ResearchHome

The premier government agency already has 21 varieties of this genetically modified (GM) crop in its backyard even that Central Institute Research of Cotton Research (CICR) makes a second bid to develop an indigenous Bt cotton seed.
The government has been struggling to make its own Bt cotton seed. At present, US multinational Monsanto enjoys a monopoly in Bt cotton seed business. The company has already admitted that it does not have a patent on Bt cotton in India.
CICR signed a MoU with Delhi University to carry further its research on Bt cotton. A similar pact will be inked with Tamil Nadu Agriculture University also. The whole process may take 2-3 years at least before the Indian Bt cotton seeds are commercially launched.

In 2004, CICR had entered into a tie-up with University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) Dharwad. Scientists of this university claimed to have come up with their own version of Bt cotton - Bikaneri narma (BnBt) variety.And after that in 2009, soon after BnBt was commercially launched, it was found that the plant had none other than Mon531 gene discovered by Monsanto, and not an indigenous version. The plan was dumped and scientists were asked to come up with an original gene by an expert committee.
ICAR said, "it is reported that Monsanto does not hold a patent in India, it would not be appropriate to use a technology without the concurrence of the technology-developer and without the permissions of the regulatory authorities such as the RCGM (Department of Biotechnology) and GEAC (Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate change).