Note the reference in item 1 to the notoriously inaccurate Reuters article claiming massive GM cotton growing in India and bumper yields - not due to good weather but due to Bt cotton. Note too the lack of reference to farmer suicides, the banning of Monsanto from Andhra Pradesh, the failure to recompense farmers for their losses from growing GM cotton, the hype and deception used to promote GM cotton, etc.

1.India may okay GMO mustard, rice in 2 years

1.India may okay GMO mustard, rice in 2 years
Daily Times (Pakistan), )ct 20 2005

JOHANNESBURG: India, where genetically modified (GM) cotton has been a big hit with farmers, is expected to approve transgenic mustard and rice crops within the next few years, a biotech expert said on Tuesday.

Genetic mustard is likely to get the go-ahead in less than a year, Sahandra Nair, managing director of India's Biotech Consortium, said.

"Rice is still at the contained-field-trial stage, so that will take longer, maybe around two years," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a biotech conference in South Africa.

The Biotech Consortium seeks to promote biotechnology by linking up research institutions, industry and government.

In 2002, India allowed transgenic cotton that contains a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium species. When infested by bollworm, it causes lethal paralysis in the digestive tract.

Traders have told Reuters in India that cotton production is expected to surge to around 25 million bales this year from an estimated 21.5 million bales previously, partly due to the use of transgenic seeds. The area under GM cotton has jumped three-fold to 1.5 million hectares this year in India, world’s third largest cotton producer, they said.

Nair said growth was expected to continue with the area under GM cotton cultivation growing to around 30 percent of the total in three years from only 7 percent last year.

Now four different companies are selling strains of GM cotton-seeds up from only one originally, he added.


A new report, "The Marketing of Bt cotton in India: Aggressive, Unscrupulous and False", explodes Monsanto's claims that its achieving higher Bt cotton seed sales in India off the back of the success of its scientifically-based technology.

Investigations reveal a very different story. The report shows that Monsanto's Indian subsidiary, Monsanto-Mahyco, and its sub-licensee Bt Cotton seed companies, have been pulling every dirty trick in the PR book in order to lure India's poor farmers into using GM cotton.

Quite apart from chronicling the use of everything from Bollywood stars to dancing girls to hype Bt cotton, here are just a few of the outright lies the report exposes.

FAKE FARMERS: Posters in Madhya Pradesh featured a farmer who claimed to have gained great benefits from using Bt Cotton seed. He turned out to be a vendor of betel leaves and cigarettes who had never grown Bt cotton in his life!

FAKE YIELDS: Other posters featured Ravinder Narain, a farmer who was said to have obtained a yield of 20 quintals per acre of Bt Cotton.

Investigations revealed Narain got only 5 quintals per acre. He is disgusted that the company is misusing the photos they took of him.

FAKE BENEFITS: A farmer called Pyarelal Patidaar is also unhappy with the fact his photo appears on posters extolling the virtues of Bt Cotton - "I said do not put my photo because I do not think that Bt Cotton is better than other varieties - however, they did not listen to me", he explains.

Another farmer was featured proudly displaying a tractor on a poster that suggested that he had been able to buy it after using Bt Cotton. He says that with the yields he got from Bt Cotton, "I would not be able to buy even two tractor tyres", let alone the tractor he bought with a private loan.

This picture appears on a poster called "TRUE STORIES OF FARMERS WHO HAVE SOWN BT COTTON"!

The report (incl. pics) can be downloaded online:
For GM Watch's summary of the report, see:


Dr Vandana Shiva points out how at a time when the negative experience with GM crops in India should be leading to a strengthening of biosafety regulation, the Government's strategy is calling for a total deregulation of biotechnology.

"This is a strategy to avoid risk assessment; and hence a strategy for deregulation of the biotechnology industry in India and outsourcing genetic pollution and health risks to India's ecosystem and the Indian public."