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Crop Biotech Update

Pakistan's Punjab Seed Council Holds Approval of Bt and Non-Bt Cotton Varieties

May 11, 2016

On May 2, 2016, Punjab Seed Council (PSC) temporarily holds the approval of 11 Bt and two non-Bt cotton seed varieties for two years due to the uncertain status of the National Bio-safety Committee (NBC) after the 18th Constitutional amendment. The new seed technology is being introduced in Pakistan not by multi-national corporations, due to non-existence of patent protection laws.

All the 29 new strain of cotton varieties i.e. BT cotton (27) and non-BT cotton (2) were developed by public and private sectors. The approval to this effect was made during the 46th meeting of PSC. The 29 cotton seed varieties included BH-178, BH-184, MNH-886, FH-114, FH-118, FH-142, PH-Lalazar, MNH-988, VH-259, VH-305, CA-12, CIM-598, CIM-599, CIM-602, CEMB-33, BS-52, IUB-13, MM-58, IUB-222, KZ-181, IR-NIAB-824, IR-NIBGE-901, IR-NIBGE-3, LEADER-1, A-555, AGC-777 and two non-BT cotton varieties, CYTO-124 and NIAB-2008.

The new cotton seed varieties would help in enhancing cotton production in the country. Cotton Commissioner Dr. Khalid Abdullah said that Pakistan cotton production for the outgoing season (2015-16) decreased by 35 percent. The previously approved Bt varieties were granted commercialization licenses by the NBC in April 2016.

Read more from Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center.