Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Monsanto Withdraws GMO Cotton Seed Application in India

  • Application pulled because of ‘regulatory uncertainties’
  • India had cut royalties for GMO cotton seeds in March

Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed seller, pulled an application seeking regulatory approval for the next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India amid a debate with the government on royalty fees.

The application was withdrawn on July 6 because of “regulatory uncertainties and ongoing discussions,” Christi Dixon, a spokeswoman for Monsanto, said in an e-mail on Wednesday. This was for cotton seeds containing next generation technology from those currently sold in India, called Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex.

India cut royalties for genetically modified cotton seeds in March, which caused the St. Louis-based company to say it would reevaluate its business in the country. In May, India temporarily withdrew the limits on royalties, according to Reuters.

Monsanto sells cotton seed in India via Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, or MMB, a joint venture with Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. The venture licenses Monsanto technology to seed companies and then collects trait fees.

India isn’t the only country in which Monsanto has had problems. In April, Burkina Faso, Africa’s biggest cotton grower, decided to phase out the production of Monsanto cotton. On June 24, Monsanto and Argentina agreed on a collection of royalties for genetically modified soybeans, ending years of dispute.

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