Monsanto doesn’t feel it is being treated fairly in India, and it is using some intense rhetoric in making a point that it intends to leave the country that has some of the strictest GMO laws in the world, high and dry on “new technologies.” Monsanto is the world’s largest provider in GMO seeds. The Monsanto machine was recently found to be infiltrating parts of China that are considered off-limits, sparking worldwide debate on whether or not Monsanto can even be stopped. Now that India is giving push-back on pre-negotiated royalties, the mammoth company is threatening to pull out of the country’s cotton industry altogether. According to Reuters, the issue began when India’s local seed companies began complaining that Monsanto’s Indian company, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) was charging excessively high fees. This prompted Monsanto to start threatening a departure.
The committee has now recommended about a 70 percent cut in royalty, or trait fee, that the seed companies pay to MMB, government sources said. The farm ministry is yet to take a decision on the committee’s recommendation.
“If the committee recommends imposing a sharp, mandatory cut in the trait fees paid on Bt-cotton seeds, MMB will have no choice but to re-evaluate every aspect of our position in India,” Shilpa Divekar Nirula, Monsanto’s chief executive for the India region, said in a statement.ADVERTISEMENT
“It is difficult for MMB to justify bringing new technologies into India in an environment where such arbitrary and innovation stifling government interventions make it impossible to recoup research and development investments,” she said.
Monsanto’s India shares tanked 7% after the news was announced. A Dehli court will also hear a challenge to determine the trade fee agreement’s legitimacy. The partnership between Monsanto and India has long been criticized. The questions, of course, have been about the general safety of Monsanto’s seed products. Antitrust allegations have also arisen. Monsanto, however, is used to being challenged, sued, condemned and even reasoned with. The company works diligently to subjugate smaller farmers and infect global lands with their seeds. India has long been one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to GMOs, with the exception of Cotton.