An Indian scientist whose team has developed a genetically modified mustard variety that is inching toward a possible commercial launch said he could soon hand to a state agency a GM cotton variety that could rival Monsanto’s seeds.
Deepak Pental and his colleagues at the Delhi University worked on GM mustard for around a decade, and a government committee said on Monday it found the seeds to be safe for “food/feed and environment.”
Creve Couer-based Monsanto dominates India’s GM cotton market, but is embroiled in a high-stakes battle with the government which wants the company to cut the royalty it charges for its technology, apart from a proposal that will make the seed giant share its technology with local firms.
Monsanto has even threatened to pull out, prompting Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave to say that Indian scientists are capable of meeting the requirements of its farmers on their own.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch