In India, only Bt Cotton is approved for commercial cultivation. Few incidences of illegal marketing of Genetically Modified seeds of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) cotton were reported in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra. However, no state has reported the production of seed of unapproved Bt gene.
Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology set up “Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC)” in 2017 for on-the spot inspection of the cotton fields to assess the veracity of spread of unapproved HT cotton.
The FISEC submitted its report in May 2018 and made recommendations and action points to be implemented by various central and state government departments and agencies. Short term (1-2 years) and medium term (2-3 years) actions have also been suggested by the committee.
DAC&FW has issued advisory to all cotton growing states to control and curb the sale and cultivation of unapproved HT Cotton vis-à-vis its seed production, processing and storage.
This information was given by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.