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2-Plants: 'Bt cotton study doesn't raise doubts over its effectiveness'



-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  'Bt cotton study doesn't raise doubts over its effectiveness'
SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line, India
        http://www.blonnet.com/businessline/blnus/07121506.htm
DATE:   12 Aug 2005

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'Bt cotton study doesn't raise doubts over its effectiveness'

NEW DELHI: Entomologist, Mr Keshav Kranthi at the Central Cotton Research
Institute (CCRI) in Nagpur has said that - contrary to reports - his
study on Bt cotton "has not raised any doubts about the Bt toxins ability
to kill bollworm."

A research paper by Mr Kranthi and his colleagues in the July 25 issue of
'Current Science' had triggered a controversy over Bt cotton.

His finding that the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin in genetically
engineered cotton is unable to kill the bollworm 110 days after sowing
was interpreted by the media to mean that Bt cotton is useless.

A non-governmental organization in Delhi had threatened legal action on
the genetic engineering approval committee (GEAC) for permitting the
cultivation of Bt cotton ignoring detrimental data from the Government's
own institute.

According to Mr Kranthi the interpretation of the findings of his study
was unfortunate. "The strength of the technology outweighs the minor
lacunae pointed out in the paper," Mr Kranthi said.

He said that blaming GEAC was also unjust as "the data were not available
before the commercial releases were authorised by the GEAC."

Mr Kranthi said that he did not think that even if the results had been
available to GEAC, its decision would have been any different because the
technology is inherently capable of reducing pesticide use and thereby
increase yield. - PTI


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