Karnataka Biodiversity Board must prosecute Monsanto/Mahyco and ors. for biopiracy
Shri. Sadananda Gowda
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Karnataka
Dear Mr. Gowda,
We write to you as Mr. Krishna Palemar has resigned as Karnataka's Environment Minister.
We are shocked that Mr. Palemar presided over the 19th meeting of the Karnataka State Biodiversity Board on 20 January 2012, where a decision has been taken not to initiate any action against corporates and institutions that violate the Biological Diversity Act of India. It is evident that this decision has been taken to shelter US MNC Monsanto and its Indian subsidiary Mahyco and their collaborators in India and the United States from being prosecuted for engaging in biopiracy while controversially promoting India's first commercial food GMO - B.t. Brinjal.
The Biological Diversity Act is absolutely clear that the State Board is statutorily bound to protect biodiversity and a major mechanism of doing this is to prosecute corporations, public institutions or individuals engaging in acts of biopiracy. Over the past two years the Board has systematically worked to investigate Environment Support Group's complaint that Monsanto/Mahyco and their collaborators did engage in biopiracy. To now stop this investigation, and what's worse, decide not to prosecute any violators, as is evident in the 19th Board Meeting minutes, is absolutely condemnable. This exposes Karnataka Government's credentials that it will not yield to any pressure, be it local or from multinational, as hollow.
It is imperative now that as Chief Minister, you should immediately summon an emergency Board meeting, recall this decision to drop prosecution against Monsanto/Mahyco and ensure that the Board's actions are fully compliant with the law. We do hope you will take this decision with due dispatch and fearlessly.
By way of this letter I/we endorse the representation submitted to you by Environment Support Group.