Biopiracy in India: The case of the aubergine
Rajeshree Sisodia, Al Jazeera, 31 October 2011

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The allegation being levelled against Monsanto is that between 2005 and 2006, the company, through its Indian subsidiary Mahyco and several agricultural universities in India, inserted a bacterial gene into the indigenous brinjal genome to create a genetically modified version named BT brinjal. These seeds were then sown in limited field trials in India. But when it embarked on its programme to genetically modify the brinjal, it did so without first asking India’s National Biodiversity Authority for consent. In response, the National Biodiversity Authority has announced its plans to prosecute Monsanto for carrying out this research without seeking its permission, reflecting the consent of hundreds of thousands of farmers who have cultivated these varieties for generations. Officials at the authority say that, by failing to consult with farmers and the national biodiversity authority, the multinational firm has run foul of India’s Biological Diversity Act 2002. Read the article …

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