Failure in restriction has prompted a surge in sales of unapproved herbicide tolerant (HT) genetically modified (GM) Cotton seed packets in the ongoing Kharif planting season, putting large number of farmers at risk across states such as Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
A year ago, after field studies in a few states, South Asia Biotechnology Center (SABC) had estimated sale of illegal seeds at 3.5 million packets, the seed deals will be over in less than a month in the ongoing Kharif crop season.
Around 45 million Cotton seed packets are sold in India every year and are used by more than 8 million growers.
Most of the 46 companies producing GM Cotton seeds in India are indulging in illegal seed production and sale.
The (unapproved) technology has spread into farmers fields like water and enough packets are available for sale in Cotton growing regions of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.