Thais Resisting Bt Cotton

March 1, 2000

1 Min Read
Thais Resisting Bt Cotton

Thais Resisting Bt Cotton

BANGKOK--Monsanto Thailand said it is facing resistance to its plan tointroduce Bt (bacillum thuringiensis) cotton commercially in Thailand. MonsantoThailand, a unit of the New York-based Monsanto Co., wants to bring in pestresistant Bt cotton seeds to help boost Thai cotton yields and cut expensiveimports. Since Thailand is a leading world cotton exporter, supporters of Bttechnology claim that Thailand's reliance on imported raw materials is harmingits trade. "Thailand is losing its competitive edge to China and Indonesia,where labor costs are cheaper," said Sanya Bhumichitra, general manager forthe agricultural sector. "Moreover, China has started planting Bt cottonand will soon have an edge over us in terms of material sourcing."

Opponents of the plan claim that the introduction of Bt cotton into themarket could affect local varieties and possibly public health. This kind ofopposition in Thailand has already led to import bans of more than 40 Btagricultural items.

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