The Hindu, 25 December 2015
An independent fact-finding team of cotton experts that examined Bt cotton fields destroyed by pink bollworm in Raichur district on Thursday strongly held that the crop destruction was not due to adulteration of seeds, but due to the failure of Bt technology itself. Addressing media in Raichur on Friday, Dr. H.R. Prakash, Agronomist and Rtd Additional Director, Department of Agriculture, Mr. Manjunath Holalu, Forestry and Environmentalist, P. Srinivas Vasu, ActionAid representative, Venkatesh Patel, a progressive activist and other team members opined that the Bt cotton, despite been cultivated as per the instructions and guidelines of seed producers and Agricultural Universities, was destroyed by pink bollworm pest.
Failure of Bt technology:
“It is clearly not the issue of seed adulteration, but that of failure of Bt technology itself. As many opponents of Bt technology had warned much earlier, the pests gradually developed resistance to Bt toxin produced by the Bt crop and destroyed the crop. The outbreaks of white fly menace in North Karnataka and Andhra1996, mirid bugs in Haveri and surrounding areas in 2013 and pink bollworm now in Raichur have clearly refuted the claims Bt cotton seed producers claims on pest-resistance,” Mr. Manjunath Holalu said.
He warned that the next outbreak of pest in Bt cotton could be American bollworm which would be more dangerous as it, unlike pink bollworm that destroys only cotton crop, destroys other crops along with cotton.
When asked whether pink bollworm fell under Bt cotton seed producers’ pest-resistance claim-purview, Mr. Holalu showed the instruction manual supplied with Bt cotton seed packet and said that it did.
The Hindu, 24 December 2015
The Hindu, 26 December 2015