Wednesday, October 19, 2011


New Delhi, India - American seed giant Monsanto and its Indian collaborator, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) are to be prosecuted for allegedly ‘stealing’ indigenous plant material for developing genetically modified brinjal variety known as Bt brinjal.  The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a statutory body set up under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the two companies and their collaborators for using indigenous brinjal germplasm without necessary permission.  Taking plant material without any permission and using it for commercial purposes is considered an act of biopiracy.  The decision on the complaint filed by the Bangalore- based Environment Support Group (ESG) was taken in June by the authority and it was formally confirmed during its meeting held in New Delhi this month.

  Any violation of the Biodiversity Act is a non-bailable, cognizable offence and the authority plans to initiate criminal proceedings against the offenders. It took almost one year for the authority to prepare a case against the two companies.  This is going to be a test case of biopiracy because for the first time a commercial entity will be booked under the Biodiversity Act.  ESG had accused the two seed companies and their Indian collaborators including UAS of using germplasm of six local varieties of brinjal for the development of Bt brinjal.  While Monsanto and Mahyco are trying to blame the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, for supplying the local brinjal varieties, this may not weaken the case against them as the law makes no such distinction. Even USAID which facilitated agreements between Mahyco and Indian universities will have to share the blame.

Indian National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) has received a complaint from M/s. Environment Support Group, an NGO on the violation by M/s. Mahyco / M/s. Monsanto and their collaborators for accessing and using the local brinjal varieties for development of Bt Brinjal without prior approval of the competent authority.  Monsanto owns 26 % of Mahyco, and also has a separate joint venture “Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Limited” which handles its business related to Bt brinjal. Once released into the environment, genetically modified seed contaminates organic seed for the same crop.

On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit today against Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who say they are increasingly threatened by genetically modified seed contamination despite using their best efforts to avoid it.  The plaintiffs said they were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.  “Some say transgenic seed can coexist with organic seed, but history tells us that’s not possible, and it’s actually in Monsanto’s financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply,” according to PUBPAT’s Ravicher, plaintiffs’ lead attorney in the case. ( News).

The Yoga of Ecology :
“Organic Farmers File Preemptive Suit Against Monsanto”


Karno Guhathakurta said...

Hi, since you have used an illustration that rightfully belongs to me, it's only just that you credit the person or the website/organisation you have callously taken it from.

dasavatara das said...

Dear Karno Guhathakurta, it's nice to greet you.

Sorry if we “have used an illustration that rightfully belongs to you,” as a matter of fact we did not know who its author was.
Therefore, as now we have learned who the owner is, and realizing that you - as its owner - consider “cruel” and “undue” its use without giving you the credits, we have to tell you that we have deleted and changed the aforementioned illustrations.
Our web sites intend to worship the Supreme Lord and spread news from sadhus, saints and people interested in the spiritual field. Everyone knows very well that nothing belongs to us, even our own body but to the Supreme Controller. As everything belongs to God, there is no copyright in our blogs or websites.
In our internet publications No one Claim to be the “Owner” of anything - unless owner of his or her own ignorance - Our motto is: “© No claim of Copyright. Please use everything for your own spiritual service.”
As you can appreciate now, your so valuable illustration was definitively removed and eliminated from our blog. We do not want to use and much less promote in our blogs such images which rightfully belong to someone so interested in copyright because our politics is not to claim for it, and let anyone to freely use our humble service for spiritual development of all.

dasavatara das

Karno Guhathakurta said...

Thank you very much.