Way Forward with GM Cotton Confined Field Trials
May 12, 2020
The South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) and the Cotton Development Board (CDB) co-organized a virtual meeting to discuss how to proceed with the confined field trials (CFTs) for Bt cotton in the coming season in Bangladesh.
The Cotton Development Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding with JK Agri Genetics Limited (JKAL), India for Bt cotton hybrids (Bt gene-truncated Cry1Ac) in February 2018. After receiving the seeds from JKAL, CDB conducted a confined field trial at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI). During the efficacy study, the transgenic lines (JKCH-1947 and JKCH-1050) showed resistance against American bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. Subsequently, CDB applied for permission to conduct a CFT through the Ministry of Agriculture. On March 4, 2020, the National Committee on Biosafety (NCB) at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at its 11th meeting, gave CDB permission for the CFT. At present, CDB is preparing for the trial.
- Dr. Aparna Islam, Country Manager, South Asia Biosafety Program, Bangladesh
- Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Senior Adviser, South Asia Biosafety Program, India
- Dr. Andrew Roberts, Vice President, Agriculture and Food Systems Institute, USA
- Dr. Farid Uddin, Executive Director, Cotton Development Board, Bangladesh
- Dr. Kamrul Islam, Senior Scientific Officer, Cotton Development Board, Bangladesh
- Dr. Gyanendra Shukla, President & Director, JK Agri Genetics Limited, India
- Dr. Manjul Anand, Head – International Business, JK Agri Genetics Limited, India
- Dr. Mithun Chacraborty, Head – R&D, Biotech, JK Agri Genetics Limited, India
The meeting started with a brief introduction by Dr. Andrew Roberts on the elements of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for conducting CFTs for Bt cotton. Dr. Md. Kamrul Islam then delivered a presentation about the progress made in Bt cotton research in Bangladesh, emphasizing the urgent need for the development of SOPs. The need to develop SOPs was identified, and it was decided that SABP and CDB will work together to develop these documents. Discussions then focused on how to proceed with the CFT.