gm cotton ban: On May 3, 2005, the Union government's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) barred commercial cultivation of three varieties of genetically modified (GM) cotton hybrids in Andhra Pradesh. The three varieties, manufactured by the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited, are Mech-12, Mech-162 and Mech-184. They had completed three years of commercial cultivation and were waiting for their license to be renewed (see Down To Earth, 'Go ahead', April 15, 2005). Non-governmental organisations have welcomed the decision, as the three varieties are said to have a poor yield and limited defence against pest attack.
import quota: The EU and the US have launched investigations that may lead to re-imposition of quotas on Chinese textile imports, following surges in imports since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) textile quotas ended in January 2005. The probe will determine if the increase in imports qualifies for the use of a 'special safeguard' clause that China conceded to while negotiating it's entry into WTO. It allows nations to impose curbs on Chinese textile imports till December 2008. The EU claims that imports of nine Chinese textile items have risen 534 per cent since January 2005. China disputes the method used for computing the figure.