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Monsanto disputes Bt cotton price rules

Monsanto Mahyco Biotech has challenged the new price control notification for genetically modified Bt cotton seeds. Prices of Bt cotton seeds under the new notification, issued on March 8, came into effect from April 1. Under the new notification, the maximum retail price of Bollgard II Bt cotton seeds has been fixed at Rs 800 per packet, including Rs 49 as royalty fee payable to technology providers, for the 2016-17 season.

Prior to the notification, the average prevailing MRP was Rs 1,100 per packet and the royalty fee was Rs 163 per packet. Meanwhile, in a civil suit between Monsanto and one of its former licencees, Nuziveedu Seeds, Monsanto told the court that the seed company has not complied with court orders to pay it royalty after selling the old stock manufactured prior to November 2015.

Monsanto made the submission after Nuziveedu told the court that since the new notification has come, it cannot be compelled to pay more from April 1 onwards. However, to this Monsanto replied that since the license with Nuziveedu had been terminated on November l5 last year ,and as the termination has not been challenged, it is no longer a licensee and thus the notification would not apply to it. The court fixed the matter for hearing on May 16.