ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

24 April 2002


1. High Bt Cotton Protection Costs, says leaked report
2. 2002 Captain Hook Award Winners for Biopiracy
3. Briefings online on Biosafety in South-East Europe


1. Bt Cotton Protection May Cost Rs 5,000 p/h

Financial Express, New Delhi; April 23, 2002
Ashok B Sharma

New Delhi, April 22:  Farmers may have to spend Rs 5,000 per hectare to protect their Bt Cotton hybrid crops in case pests population exceeds the normal limits.

The final evaluation report of the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) has stated that despite its in-built resistance to bollworms the average plant protection cost for Bt Mech 184 cotton in event of pest population crossing the economic threshold limit (ETL) is as high as Rs 5,000 per hectare.

The CICR has found in the process of field trials that bollworm population on Bt cotton hybrids crossed the ETL once after 90 days, pointing out the need for pest management. The study also found the Bt cotton hybrids are susceptible to jassids, aphids and sucking pests, and several crop diseases like bacterial blight, grey mildew and Myrothecium leaf spot.

The CICR study suggested that if integrated pest management (IPM) system is adopted at initial stage, the average plant protection cost for Bt Mech 184 and Bt Mech 162 would be Rs 1,413 per hectare while that for Bt Mech 12 would be Rs 1,727 per hectare.

The CICR was entrusted with the responsibility of evaluating field trials of Mahyco Bt cottonseeds. Field trials were conducted at six places in central India and five places in south India.

However, the CICR study has estimated that the economic advantage from Bt Mech 162 and Bt Mech 184 may be around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per hectare as compared to the non-Bt and check varieties. If IPM is applied then the additional profit from Bt Mech 184 would be about Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000 per hectare and that for Bt Mech 162 it would be around Rs
10,000 to Rs 12,000 per hectare as compared to local and national check varieties. Similarly, the additional returns from Bt Mech 12 would be around Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per hectare as compared to local and national check hybrids.

The report stated that the Bt cotton hybrids fit well in the IPM module. If the IPM module is adopted, it would require only one or two sprays of chemical pesticides and result in saving in plant protection cost of Rs 1,500 per hectare, besides an additional return by way of higher yield to the tune of Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per hectare. Besides seed treatment with Imidacloprid, the Bt cotton hybrids needs two sprays in the central zone and three to four sprays in the south zone for control of sucking pests. Thus, the total economic benefit from Bt cotton hybrids Mech 184 and Mech 162 is around Rs 10,000 per hectare.

However the CICR, while estimating the likely returns to the farmers, has not taken into account the prices of Bt cottonseeds which are likely to be higher than other varieties.


2. Biopiracy+10
2002 Captain Hook Award Winners
23 April 2002

On the tenth anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the ETC group announces the publication of a new ETC Communique entitled "Biopiracy+10," now available online:

The March/April 2002 ETC Communique provides background information on the winners of the Captain Hook Awards - for infamous and outstanding cases of biopiracy. This year's award-winning biopirates are cited for cases involving human genetic material, medicinal plants, and food crops across six continents.  The awards were formally presented by the Coalition Against Biopiracy at a ceremony in The Hague on April 11 2002, during the Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The Captain Hook award winners reviewed in "Biopiracy+10" include:

Worst Anti-Food Security - Winner: Syngenta
Greediest - Winner: Pod-Ners LLC
Worst Corporate Offender - Winner: Monsanto
Most Offensive - Winner: United States Patent & Trademark Office
Most Offensive - Runner-Up: University of Toledo
Most Dangerous - Winner: United States Patent & Trademark Office
Worst International Convention - Winner: World Trade Organization
Worst Excuse - Winner: Phytopharm
Worst Excuse - Runner-Up: International Rice Research Institute

Cog Awards:  Awards were also presented to those institutions, peoples' organizations and governments that have opposed egregious cases of biopiracy, defeated predatory patents or defended the intellectual integrity of farmers and indigenous peoples.

Award winners include:

Best Peoples' Defense - Winner: COMPITCH and Indigenous peoples' organizations in Mexico
Best Peoples' Defense - Runner-Up: Human rights organizations and churches in the South Pacific nation of Tonga
Best Legal Defense - Winner: International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Best Whistle-Blower - Winner: Gwendolyn Zahner
Best National Defense - Winner: Indian Government and the Indian People
Best [we can get] International Treaty - Winner: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The complete citations and further background information are available:
The Captain Hook posters, featuring graphics by Eric Drooker, are also available in PDF format:
New from ETC group:

* The World Food Summit and the US Government - an ETC Translator.

ETC offers a 14-page analysis of the US Government's draft position paper for the upcoming World Food Summit+5 in Rome (June, 2002). ETC provides a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis and critique of the diplomatic text.

Conclusion: The United States is pushing a technological fix to world hunger: nixing national sovereignty over agricultural policies, seeking an opportunity to control the world's most important gene banks and to undermine FAO's Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.


3. Briefings online on Biosafety in South-East Europe

[originated: "Ronald Visser" <>]

Dear Friends,

On the ANPED website you can now download briefings on Biosafety in South-East  Europe. One briefing gives an overview of the whole region, two others focus on Yugoslavia and Croatia. The briefings were launched yesterday (23 April) at a side- event during ICCP-3 in The Hague.

To download, get to the ANPED website ( and find it under  NEWS or at the GMO section. I can also send you the documents as PDF files if so you wish. Please note it needs Acrobat Reader to read the briefings.

Best wishes,
Ronald Visser
Communications and Networking Officer
ANPED, the Northern Alliance for Sustainability
PO Box 59030
1040 KA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+ 31 (0)20 4751742 (phone) / + 31 (0)20 4751743 (fax)

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