Crop Biotech Update

Approval of Monsanto's GM Cotton Seed Patent to Boost India's Biotech Industry

January 16, 2019

India's Supreme Court has approved Monsanto's claim on the patents of its genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds, reversing an earlier verdict by the New Delhi High Court. The decision has been well-received by international agricultural companies such as Bayer, Dupont Pioneer, and Syngenta, while major farmers' organizations in the country have also expressed their support as they look forward to acquiring new technologies and varieties of GM crops.

Monsanto's GM cotton seed trait is the only GM crop allowed in India. In 2003, the New Delhi High Court approved the crop along with an improved variety in 2006, placing India among the top cotton producing countries in the world. The High Court's decision was overturned in 2018 after Indian seed company Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL) claimed that Monsanto was not allowed to claim patents on its GM cotton seeds under the country's Patent Act.

M. Ramasami, Chairman of the Federation of Seed Industry of India, said that the current ruling will boost investments in the country's biotech industry such as advancements in seed technologies and farm processes, which would help Indian farmers compete in the international market.

For more, read the article on Commodity Online.