As Monsanto takes further steps to increase control and limit the choice of Americans over food supply, India now says that it has had enough! India, which over the past 15 years has had its legal battles with the U.S. global patenting of natural resources i.e. TRIPS, and multinationals like Monsanto is the only country that produces GM aubergines/egg plant, except that they did not produce it.
Without approval from India authorities, Mahyco-Monsanto accessed local varieties known as brinjal, to produce the GM variety known as Bt Brinjal. It is the National Biodiversity Authority of India (NBA), which will be taking the legal action, a decision which was made on June 20th 2011, the minutes of which was released on 11 August 2011.
It was discovered via a complaint filed with supporting evidence by the Environment Support Group before the Karnataka Biodiversity Board that 6 local varieties in Karnataka, and 4 local varieties in Tamil Nadu for the development of Bt Brinjal without prior approval from State Biodiversity Board/National Biodiversity Authority had taken place as an act of biopiracy. Biopiracy is the stealing of genetic resources for profit. In practical terms under TRIPS it would mean that Monsanto would own Bt Brinjal from seed to fruit/vegetable. Other participants include the University of Agricultural Sciences-Dharwar, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University-Coimbatore, Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (representing the consortium involving USAID and Cornell University-USA). This is in contravention of Section 4 and related provisions of the Biological Diversity Act.
Monsanto is the world’s largest chemical company that has been buying up global genetic resources by becoming the world’s largest in biotechnology, preventing farmers around the world from owning and producing their own seeds, and making it incumbent through TRIPS for farmers to buy their seeds from Monsanto. Mahyco is the Indian branch of Monsanto.
This legal step is also necessary to prevent the loss of biodiversity and contamination from GM crops which are invasive when introduced into the environment. Biopiracy impoverishes the farmers by placing them under an unbearable debt, and deprives local communities who are the guardians and the developers of local varieties. Even if consent by local communities is given their share in any benefits must by acknowledged internationally through the Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol.
NBA. “Proceedings of the 20th Authority Meeting.” http://www.nbaindia.org/docs/20th_Proceedings_10_08_2011.pdf
India: National Biodiversity Authority To Prosecute Mahyco/Monsanto And Collaborators Monsanto Now Wants India’s Onions http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11766%3Aindia-national-biodiversity-authority-to-prosecute-mahycomonsanto-and-collaborators-promoting-bt-brinjal-in-violation-of-biodiversity-protection-law&catid=63%3Acentral-asia-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=85&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IndigenousPeoplesResources+%28Indigenous+Peoples+Issues+%26+Resources%29