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GM Contamination Register
Incident details
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Asia / India
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Illegal planting

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India - GM cotton seed planted illegally

In 2001, some 10,000 hectares of GM cotton were grown illegally in India from GM cotton seed sold by the Navbharat seed company. It is thought the seed was produced by crossing US varieties of GM cotton and local varieties. Farmers were asked to destroy their crop and harvested cotton was also destroyed.

In 2002, some GM cotton varieties were given official approval for planting in some states of India. However, illegal growing of unapproved varieties in India continues and is considered widespread. The illegal varieties are reported to perform poorly.

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Further information

Bhattacharya S. (2003) Modified crops 'have big benefits for Third World', New Scientist 15th February 2003 >

Jayaraman,K.S. (2002) Poor crop management plaques Bt cotton experiment in India. NatureBiotechnology 20: 1069 >

Jayaraman, K.S. (2001) Illicit GM cotton sparks corporate fury. Nature 413: 555 >

Jayaraman, K.S. (2005) Indian Bt gene monoculture. Potential time bomb. Nature Biotechnology 23: 158 >

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