New Delhi: RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) today alleged that seeds multinational Monsanto has collected nearly Rs 7,000 crores by exploiting cotton farmers in the country. Monsanto had offered the Bt Cotton seed patent to the government for one time payment of Rs 18 crore, SJM claimed adding “the company has now collected nearly Rs 7,000 crores from poor cotton farmers”. SJM’s remarks come two days after US-based Monsanto lost its legal battle against three domestic seed firms over the patent dispute.
“These figures indicate Monsanto’s unlawful activities and manipulations just to earn excessive profits,” SJM said. Accusing Monsanto of running a false propaganda for last 15 years, the RSS affiliate said the firm tries to circumvent these profits by speaking about improvement in cotton yields in India. “But this is actually due to the hard work of the Indian farmers and the local germplasm of cotton, which is unique to India,” SJM said.
The government capped Bt Cotton seed prices following the representations made by SJM and RSS to control Monsanto’s monopoly, it said. Criticising the decision of Monsanto to withdraw new technologies from India following capping of cotton seed prices, SJM said India is an important market and the company has now given indications to resume testing of their next cotton seed variety. This shows the company was okay with current trait value (royalty) regulation also. This information also proves the “drama” that Monsanto plays to put pressure on bureaucrats to stop them from taking right actions, SJM added.