Agriculture Farmers sow unapproved Monsanto cotton seeds, risking arrest Updated : June 12, 2018 04:38 PM IST India approved the first GM cotton seed trait in 2002 and an upgraded variety in 2006, helping transform the country into the world's top producer and second-largest exporter of the fibre. The herbicide-tolerant variety, lab-altered to help farmers save costs on weed management, has, however, seeped into the country's farms since then. The federal environment ministry said last year planting the seeds violated the Environment Protection Act, and farmers who did so were risking potential jail terms. Subscribe to Moneycontrol PRO at just Rs.33/- per month for the first year. Use code SUPERPRO. Limited period offer. Available on Web and Android.