EXCLUSIVE-DowDuPont "defers" field trials to seek sale of GM corn seed in India

India@

NEW DELHI, Aug 3 (Reuters) - DowDuPont Inc has told India it is putting off trials needed for approval to sell a genetically modified variety of corn, taking a cue from U.S. rival Monsanto that has also pulled a similar application due to intellectual property concerns.

In a letter addressed to India's environment ministry reviewed by Reuters, the Indian arm of DowDuPont said it had obtained permission to conduct trials growing a small crop of the corn in the northern state of Punjab but would like to "defer the undertaking".

It did not give a reason behind its decision.

"This is to confirm that we have deferred the Biosafety Research Level-I confined field trials with transgenic maize planned during the season of kharif 2018," a DowDuPont spokeswoman told Reuters in an email, referring to the summer planting season. "The company remains committed to advancing agricultural productivity in India."

She declined to give details. The decision to put off trials is not public. (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Krishna N. Das and Christian Schmollinger)