BANGALORE: In its first official confirmation, the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) has stated that it is “proceeding with lodging of a complaint against the alleged violators” of Biological Diversity Act on the grounds of biopiracy in promoting Bt Brinjal, India’s first transgenic genetically modified organic (GMO) food.
In response to a Right to Information (RTI) query by Environment Support Group (ESG), the NBA has said that it will be filing a complaint against this serious environmental crime for illegally accessing and genetically modifying six varieties of Indian brinjal to produce Bt brinjal. India has already enforced a moratorium on the commercial release of BT Brinjal following various scientific, legal, health and community concerns.
ESG had filed a complaint in February 2010, accusing agritech company Monsanto along with its Indian partner Mahyco, Sathguru Consultants and various public funded agriculture institutions of accessing over 16 varieties of brinjal endemic to India in comprehensive violation of the Biological Diversity Act while promoting the commercial release of transgenic Bt Brinjal through 2005-2010. None of the regulatory agencies, had bothered to verify compliance with the Biodiversity Act throughout this period, and began to take action with much reluctance after ESG filed the complaint.