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The Swiss-based agricultural biotechnology company Syngenta has pulled out of a controversial joint research venture with the Indira Gandhi Agricultural University (IGAU) in Raipur, India.

A statement from Syngenta, released on Tuesday (10 December), confirmed that the company — which would have gained commercial rights to the university's collection of more than 19,000 local rice strains — had dropped the proposal.

Environmentalists and some scientists opposed the deal on the grounds that the collection was a national wealth and not private property. IGAU would have received an undisclosed amount of money and royalties from the company in exchange for access to the collection.

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