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ASSOCHAM urges MRTPC to review ruling on MMB

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 17 (UNI) The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) today urged the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) to review its decision on the trait value with regard to Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd (MMB).

''The judgement of MRTPC in this particular case is inappropriate and will only serve as a setback to both the agricultural and the biotechnology industry in India, the Chamber said in a statement issued here.

ASSOCHAM, however, added that the use and application of biotechnology should be encouraged to promote Indian agriculture, as with the introduction of Bollgard cotton in India in 2002, Bt cotton farmers have enjoyed numerous benefits including substantial increase in yields per acre, greater profits and better savings due to reduced pesticide usage.

Biotech crops are grown by approximately one million resource-poor farmers whose increased incomes from biotech crops contributed to the alleviation of their poverty.

The yield in cotton has grown up consistently since the introduction of Bollgard in the country. It increased from 309 kg/hectare in 2002 to more than 460 kg/hectare in 2005.

The interim ruling of the MRTPC will create an unfavourable atmosphere in India with regard to corporate investments and will impede industrial and agricultural growth as the ruling has come at a time when the nascent biotechnology industry in the country has just begun to flourish.

Forcing companies to cut down on technology fees will have a direct and adverse impact on the amount spent on necessary Research and Development (R&D).

The farmers will lose the benefits of Bt cotton if the seed companies are forced to reduce R&D expenditure and cannot constantly analyse and improve their product on Indian soil, the Chamber said.

UNI RA PV KN1815

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