The issue of illegal sowing of HT (herbicide-tolerant) Cotton has surfaced again with the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government cancelling the licence of one seed company, while suspending licence of 13 other companies for one year.
Reports from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had indicated that 20-30 per cent of the total Cotton acreage last year was under the illegal HT Cotton.
The Andhra Pradesh government, which was among the first States to act against the illegal spread of the HT Cottonseeds last year, has noticed a similar activity this year, triggering action on the errant firms.
The herbicide-tolerant Cottonseed technology has not yet received permission from the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) — the apex Central government agency that receives and considers applications from agri-biotech companies on new technologies and traits.
Despite the technology not getting GEAC’s approval and restrictions on Glyphosate, farmers get HT seeds from unscrupulous sources.