As per latest ISAAA report, the BT cotton now occupies close to 95 percent of overall cotton production in India.
After it asked the companies to send applications for allowing the commercial release of their Bt cotton hybrids, the Standing Committee authorized to take call on the matter, is set to issue go aheads in its next meeting scheduled to be held on April, 15. The committee is a part of the Event Based Approval Mechanism system of Review Committee of Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) whose secretariat is located at the department of biotechnology (DBT) in New Delhi.
Earlier the applicants were asked to submit their applications for a maximum of two Bt cotton hybrids per applicant per State/Zone may be submitted for North, Central and South Zones by April, 06.
However, it has also warned the applicant companies that punitive action will be initiated in case of providing any wrong information/declaration on any of the points for which details were sought. These included:
1. Confirmation of gene/event through molecular characterization by the licensor stating that the gene/s being used is one of the approved events (LOC in original)
2. Level of protein expression in green house and field trials
3. Morphological characters using DUS descriptors as per PPVF&RA guidelines for the hybrids as well as parental lines
4. Bio-efficacy data generated in laboratory conditions
5. Authorization certificate/ No Objection Certificate (NOC) in original from technology provider in case of sub-licensee
6. Affidavits duly signed by the Notary on Stamp Paper
7. Each application shall contain data pertaining to single hybrid only as inclusion of a lot of hybrids in a single application causes hardship in evaluation of the data; Individual application should be submitted for each State/Zone; Applications submitted earlier/pending cases of earlier Standing Committee meetings will not be considered.
8. Field trial data of the particular hybrid at least from one SAU per State of the particular Zone; In addition to yield parameters, the data should include the quality aspects as well as reaction of test hybrid against insects and diseases as recorded under AICCIP; Seed cotton yield should be significantly superior to the best check.
9. For Central and South Zones, the SAU data may be provided keeping in view of the rainfed/irrigated regions and may be submitted for both regions to ensure approval for the entire State
10. Number and names of hybrids approved under EBAM so far for each State, name of hybrids available in the market, and how the proposed hybrids are better than the approved hybrids
11. Data on tolerance of Bt cotton hybrids to CLCuV in North Zone (only for hybrids to be released in North Zone) as evaluated by SAU Centre in North Zone/CICR, Sirsa
12. Current status of Bt cotton hybrids approved by Standing Committee under EBAM for commercialization