Monsanto abandons controversial GM seeds trial after protests

Protesting farmers have forced hybrid seeds company Monsanto to abandon controversial trials of genetically modified (GM) seeds on the premises of the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyala in Kolhapur.

Monsanto decided to abandon the controversial trials following the 23 March protest by farmers in the area.

The protest on the agricultural university's farm at Kolhapur was spearheaded by local unit of the Greenpeace and the Peasants and Workers Party.

Following the protests, an inquiry committee was set up with a representative from Greenpeace, India, an NGO, which is opposing the trials sponsored by US-based company Monsanto.

The university also held a meeting yesterday to discuss bio-safety and environmental implications of the open air transgenic trials, PWP leader N D Patil, who led the agitation, said.

Monsanto is reported to be carrying out similar trials at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Samastipur in Bihar, according to an activist of Kheti Virasat Mission.