Nuziveedu says Monsanto made it rip off poor farmers (26/4/2006)

What's striking about this is that Monsanto's sub-licensee for its Bt cotton seeds - Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd - says Monsanto forced the company to sell its GM seeds to poor cotton growers at exorbitant prices, while Monsanto argues the companies were fleecing poor farmers by mutual agreement!

Monsanto refutes charge by Nuziveedu
Economic Times, APRIL 26, 2006

NEW DELHI: US biotech major Monsanto on Wednesday refuted charges of restrictive trade practices leveled against it by its sub-licensee Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd, while saying the issues raised by the latter was beyond the scope of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act.

Replying to Nuziveedu's contention in a case before MRTPC that it was forced by Monsanto to sell Bt Cotton seeds at an exorbitant price, the multinational seed company said: "NSL could at the most support the case of Andhra Pradesh government, but can't go for a new case while filing a reply affidavit."

Nuziveedu, a respondent along with Monsanto and its fully-owned Indian subsidiary Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) in a case filed by Andhra Pradesh farmers before the MRTPC, had earlier submitted that MMBL was forcing it to sell genetically modified seeds to poor cotton growers at exorbitant prices under the guise of 'trait value.'

Monsanto said the issues raised by its sub-licensee are beyond the scope of MRTP Act. The MNC, however, clarified that its sub-licensees were enjoing 17 per cent of the trait value.

"If NSL was so sympathetic towards the farmers, then it could have reduced the price by forgoing its share in trait value," Monsanto's counsel argued.

NSL, in earlier hearing, had assured the Commission that it could bring down the price, provided the US biotech major reduces its trait value on Bt seeds.

Monsanto highlighted that its agreement with sub- licensees like NSL was voluntary and not restrictive as "the agreement between them was with "consensus and not out of compulsion".

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