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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Bt Cotton not a cattle killer: AICBA

Commodity Online | July 11, 2007 15:44 IST

Multi-national companies pushing Bt Cotton seeds in India heaved a sigh of relief following reports that the cattle deaths in Adilabad and Warangal districts of Andhra Pradesh were not due to the effects of Bt toxin.

The issue had rocked the state during the past few weeks amid news reports that a huge number of sheep, goat and cattle perished in Andhra Pradesh after eating Bt Cotton leaves.

Now, the All-India Crop Biotechnology Association, an organisation comprising members of companies engaged in agriculture biotechnology, has reiterated that the deaths were not related to consumption of Bt Cotton leaves and plants.

Raj Ketkar, joint managing director of Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, and R K Sinha, executive director of AICBA, asserted at a press conference that the deaths could have occurred due to other reasons.

Quoting observations from a report by the Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis of IVRI (Indian Veterinary Research Institute), to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the officials said limited studies in goats and rats fed with Bt Cotton leftovers indicated no untoward clinical effects.

Stating that the GEAC reviewed reports published in international journals and views expressed by the Punjab State Agriculture University (Ludhiana), they said none of the reports or analyses conclude that Bt toxin was responsible for sheep mortality in Andhra Pradesh.

Commenting on media reports on the deaths, they said the compounds such as nitrates and nitrites found in the viscera of sheep were in no way connected to Bt Cotton.

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