Team Adda247 and BankersAdda are here with a Current Affairs Special Series. In this series, candidates will be introduced to current affairs topics daily, which will not only improve their general awareness but also will ensure that the candidates do not lack in any current affairs topic. Today’s Current Affairs topic is India is The illegal HTBt cotton seeds sales doubles.
The illegal HTBt cotton seeds sales doubles
The Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) and the National Seed Association of India (NSAI) have urged the Centre to take action against a sudden surge in illegal cultivation of herbicide-tolerant which is known as ‘HT’ Bt cotton in the country this year. The illegal cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) Bt cotton has seen a huge jump this year, with seed manufacturers claims that the illegal seed packets have more than doubled from 30 lakh last year to 75 lakh this year.
Industry lobbies have directed the Agriculture Ministry for this issue and demanding that step be taken to stop such sales and punish offenders, noting that cultivation of the genetically modified cotton variant has serious environmental and economic consequences. Such illegal seed pollutes the environment and the industry is losing legitimate seed sale and the government also loses revenue in terms of tax collection. The spread of illegal seeds can also pollute legitimate seed production thereby putting seed production farmers to heavy losses, the industry bodies observed. Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop that is approved for usage by the centre for commercial cultivation in India. It has been genetically modified to produce an insecticide to attack the cotton bollworm, a common pest.
The NSAI said regulators are only checking licensed dealers and seed companies while this illegal activity of HT seed sales is carried mostly by unorganised and fly-by-night operators. The focus must be on catching them and taking exemplary and strong action against them. Seed industry bodies have urged in this regard to Union Agriculture and Environment Ministries and sought immediate action.