Current Affairs

Government Forms Committee to Probe Illegal Cultivation of HT Cotton

To investigate the matter of illegal cultivation of HT cotton, the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology has constituted a Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC).The committee will investigate into illegal cultivation of HT cotton in four states.

Government Forms Committee to Probe Illegal Cultivation of HT Cotton

Reasons

Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of the Ministry of Environment has not approved the   cultivation of BG-III or HT cotton. Even though, the government has received several representations for ban of illegal cultivation of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) or BG-III cotton in the country. There were a number of  media reports citing the illegal or unauthorised cultivation of HT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra

Steps Taken by States

  • Telangana: The Telangana government decided to book criminal cases against those involving in sale, processing and storage of the illegal variety of cotton seed with the herbicide tolerant (HT) trait, also known as BG-III, in a bid to check its further spread in the State.
  • Andhra Pradesh- Andhra Pradesh has prohibited use of glyphosate, a chemical that goes into making herbicides, during the crop period when its required the most by a farmer. HT cotton is genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate.
  • Maharashtra: The state government of Maharashtra has formed special investigation teams (SIT) to probe the role of seed companies in introducing illegal herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seeds into the market. 

HT Cotton 

  • Herbicide-Tolerant (HT) Cotton also known as BG-III cotton is innovation in BT Cotton. It deals wit weeds problem at a lower cost as compared to physical labour required for weeding. It contains Round-up Ready and Round-up Flex (RRF) gene
  • The sale, cultivation and seed production of HT Cotton is a punishable offence under Seeds Act 1966, Seed Rule 1968, Seeds (Control) Order 1983 with regard to Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Environmental Protection Rules, 1989.
  •  The herbicide-resistant gene in HT cotton can spread through pollen into biodiversity system consequently transforming the weeds into super weeds on large-scale. It will threaten growth and yields of all crops in future and also increase cultivation costs and lead to health hazards.

Expected Questions

HT cotton or Herbicide Tolerant cotton is also known as
a. BG I Cotton
b. BG II Cotton
c. BG IV Cotton
d. BG III Cotton

To investigate the matter of illegal cultivation of HT cotton, the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology has constituted a Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC).The committee will investigate into illegal cultivation of HT cotton in four states. Which of the following is not among those four states?
a. Andhra Pradesh
b. Karnataka
c. Telangana
d. Maharashtra
Government Forms Committee to Probe Illegal Cultivation of HT Cotton Government Forms Committee to Probe Illegal Cultivation of HT Cotton Reviewed by insiya yadav on March 15, 2018 Rating: 5

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