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Japan approves more biotech varieties, Bt cotton selling well in India

(July 17, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- Japan has approved a few varieties of genetically modified seeds. Meanwhile, in India, Monsanto's biotech cotton seed reportedly is selling well.

In Japan, the Health Ministry told Reuters that it had approved Dow Chemical's instect- and herbicide-resistant Herculex I corn seed and two types of herbicide-resistant soybeans that Aventis SA produces.

That brings to 43 the total number of genetically modified corn, soybean, sugar beet, potato, rapeseed and cotton that the Japanese government has approved for human consumption.

In April of last year, the government established a zero tolerance for imports containing unapproved biotech products and mandated labels on all approved products.

Meanwhile, the Bt cotton from Monsanto and the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co Ltd (Mahyco) has sold very well to farmers and seed dealers in its first season of commercial planting, according to a story in the July 16 edition of The Hindu Business Line.

The Bt hybrids were sold to farmers at Rs 1,600 per packet, each containing 450 gm of seeds to cover one acre. The retail price of a similar packet of Mahyco's non-Bt cotton hybrids is Rs 380.

Sources: Reuters, Agnet