Monsanto abused dominant position in India, overcharging farmers for GMO seed

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) discovered that Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMBL) has abused its dominant position in the nation by charging an unfair license charge.

According to a report, MMBL additionally entered into pricing agreements instantly geared toward overcharging farmers who use Bt cotton expertise seeds. Bt cotton is a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically modified pest-resistant plant cotton selection, which produces an insecticide to bollworm.

An equal three way partnership of Maharashtra-based seed firm Mahyco and Monsanto, MMBL sells genetically modified seeds to many Indian corporations and costs a licensing charge known as ‘trait fee’, or expertise charge.

“It has been proven that trait charge was linked with the utmost retail value of seed packets by MMBL simply to extract surplus as a lot as attainable from the top shopper of Bt cotton seeds i.e. farmers,” mentioned CCI report seen by Economic Times.

It famous that there have been a number of situations the place MMBL abused its dominant position in the market, most notably by charging increased trait charges from seed producers in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan in contrast with others as there was no value regulation in these states.

“Charging completely different costs in completely different geographic places in the sunshine of native circumstances particularly when such variation shouldn’t be associated to prices can distort competitors and is in the character of third-degree value discrimination exercised by a monopolist. There is not any proof of welfare enhancement of shoppers on account of the worth discrimination.”

MMBL additionally charged a better trait charge in states corresponding to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh the place the federal government had fastened trait charges “on the pretext of pendency of litigation.”

The investigation discovered that the trait charges charged by MMBL weren’t primarily based on excessive prices incurred by MMBL as it’s “merely a licensing entity with very limited fixed costs.” The firm doesn’t undertake any analysis and growth exercise which may push up its prices, mentioned the report.

MMBL, which holds patents for Bt cotton, insisted that companion organizations use proprietary hybrids and never public (authorities) launched varieties. By doing so, the corporate tried to carry management not solely on their expertise but additionally the crops in order that farmers can’t reuse them. This made farmers and the native corporations perpetually depending on them,” mentioned GV Ramanjaneyulu, government director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

US agrochemical large Monsanto, at present owned by Bayer, has been promoting genetically modified cotton seed to India since 1998. Since that point it has established an absolute monopoly over Bt cotton manufacturing in the nation. Some 90 % of India’s cotton –11.eight million hectares of cotton fields – now domesticate Bt crops. However, the Indian authorities try to push Monsanto out of the market to create extra favorable financial circumstances for home farmers.

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