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Sale of illegal HTBt cotton seed doubles

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 19, Jun 2021
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  • Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop that has been approved by the Centre for commercial cultivation in India.
  • Developed by US giant Bayer-Monsanto, it involves insertion of two genes viz ‘Cry1Ab’ and ‘Cry2Bc’ from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into cotton seeds.
  • This modification codes the plant to produce protein toxic to Heliothis bollworm (pink bollworm) thus making it resistant to their attack.
  • It is the responsibility of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the Environment Ministry to assess the safety of a genetically modified plant, and decide whether it is fit for cultivation.

HTBt cotton

  • (HtBt) involves the addition of another gene, ‘Cp4-Epsps’ from another soil bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
  • This makes the plant resistant to the herbicide glyphosate
  • It is not cleared by GEAC.