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Research on Bt Cotton Impact Sought

HYDERABAD: The Deccan Development Society and AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity have demanded that the State and Central governments order comprehensive scientific research into the adverse impact of the Bt cotton cultivation on human, animal and soil health. They advised the Government against depending on the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) for information as it relied on a handful of scientists whose loyalty to the farming community was questionable. In fact, a senior member of the GEAC was the president of ISAAA, a global biotech industry body.

Dismissing the biotech companies’ claim about the increase in yield after introduction of Bt cotton, they said that this was more due to increase in acreage and more farmers diversifying into cotton. “The adverse impact of the Bt cotton crops on human health is already showing up. It is time that the Government sheds its callous attitude and wakes up to the reality,” DDS representative and Coalition convenor P.V. Satheesh said.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said studies in Warangal, Adilabad and Nalgonda districts for five years revealed that Bt farmers secured 10 per cent less returns than those practicing non-pesticidal management techniques.