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Should we encourage biopirates to expand their business in India?

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Petition to National Biodiversity Authority to take action on Environment Support Group's complaint of biopiracy against M/s Mahyco/Monsanto and their collaborators promoting Bt Brinjal

Shri M. F. Farooqui, IAS., 


National Biodiversity Authority, 

(Full Addl. Charge) 

Additional Secretary, 

Ministry of Environment and Forests, 

Government of India, 

5th Floor, TICEL Bio Park, 

Taramani, Chennai - 600 113. 

Tel: 91-044-2254 1805 

Fax: 91-044-2254 1073 

E-mail: chairman@nbaindia.in 

8th August 2011

Dear Shri. Farooqui,

As you are aware, Environment Support Group has filed a complaint against M/s Mahyco/Monsanto and their collaborators in promoting Bt Brinjal in violation of India's Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992. This complaint has been pending adjudication by the National Biodiversity Authority for over a year now, notwithstanding comprehensive investigations that have been undertaken by Karnataka State Biodiversity Board.

The Authority which has not found the necessary time and resource to adjudicate the matter with due dispatch, has now proceeded to process an application from Monsanto Holdings to access onions in India for hybridisation and possible commercial release. Such double standards is not an healthy indicator that the Authority is independently and rigorously implementing Biological Diversity Act in order to protect our biological resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

When the Authority meets on 9th August 2011, it is imperative that it takes a decision on the pending complaint of biopiracy against M/s Mahyco/Monsanto and its collaborators. Such action is imperative on the part of the regulatory Authority and will build public confidence that it is not dithering in taking a correct decision due to extraneous pressures.

We also demand that pending adjudication of this matter, no application must be processed for accessing biological resources of India from any of the agencies being investigated on grounds of biopiracy. Such a policy is consistent with best practices employed by the Government of India and also with various Supreme Court decisions – most recently in banning mining by all as a measure of taking action against widespread illegal mining in Bellary district of Karnataka.

We hope that the Authority will take appropriate decisions with due dispatch to safeguard India's biodiversity and the wider public interest.


Environment Support Group is a not for profit public interest, research, training, campaign and advocacy initiative responding to a variety of environmental and social justice concerns.


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