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FIRs against 12 Maharashtra farmers for illegally sowing Bt Cotton

Sanjeeb Mukherjee/New Delhi 26 Jun 19 | 01:10 AM

In a crackdown on farmers growing Herbicide Tolerant Bt Cotton illegally, the Maharashtra state government has lodged police complaint against 12 of them in Akola district of the state.

Sources said the FIRs have been lodged for violation of various provisions of Seeds Act, Indian Penal Code, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Act, Custom Acts of 1962 and the Patent Act, 1970.

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The move came after several farmers under the banner of Shetkari Sangathana organised multiple sowing of HT BT as a mark of protest against what they said was illegal denial of technology to farmers.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1986, growing GM crops that have not been approved by the government is illegal and can lead to jail term of five years or a hefty fine of Rs 1 lakh. HT Bt is the third generation of BT cotton in India.

The first two generations used Cry 1 Ab and Cry 1 Ac and were instrumental in controlling pink bollworm attack in cotton plants.

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