Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Bt brinjal: National Biodiversity Authority accuses seed firms of biopiracy on Indian egg plant

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The controversy surrounding Bt brinjal, the first
genetically modified food crop developed in India, has turned murkier
with the National Biodiversity Authority planning to launch
prosecution against a seed company for alleged bio-piracy.

The National Biodiversity Authority, which regulates matters
pertaining to biodiversity protection, conservation and use in India,
will lodge a complaint against the alleged violators of the Biological
Diversity Act for “bio-piracy in promoting Bt brinjal”. The commercial
launch of Bt brinjal has already been kept in abeyance by the Central
government following concerns over health, biological and other issues.

According to information provided to Environment Support Group (ESG)
in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query, the NBA admitted
that the “matter was under advanced stage of lodging a complaint”. The
filing of the complaint against this serious environmental crime
assumes launching of criminal prosecution against the violators.

Leo F Saldanha, coordinator/trustee of the Environment Support Group
had filed a complaint accusing, the world's largest agritech company
Monsanto along with its Indian partner Mahyco and several government
institutions, of accessing over 16 varieties of brinjal endemic to
India in comprehensive violation of the Biological Diversity Act while
promoting the commercial release of transgenic Bt brinjal.

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