India sues Monsanto for biopiracy

  • Published on September 30th, 2011

For two decades, Monsanto has been able to take living organisms, insert genes into them, and then patent them as its own intellectual property. And nobody has challenged this – until now.

The government of India has filed suit against Monsanto – for violating India’s Biological Diversity Act (BDA).  It’s the first time a company has been sued by a government for acts of biopiracy.

“This can send a different message to the big companies for violating the laws of the nation,” said K.S. Sugara, Member Secretary of the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, to France 24 (click the link for a video report). “It is not acceptable … that the farmers in our communities are robbed of the advantage they should get from the indigenous varieties.”

India has been increasingly concerned with Monsanto’s flouting of various laws, and attempts to circumvent regulation. Monsanto, for its part, has seen India as a huge market, with gene-modified cotton already being sold and a big push underway for Bt gene-modified corn.

But the Indian government says Monsanto has also been using test plots to steal indigenous Indian species – like eggplant (know locally as brinjal) which it would then market without making any payment or compensation.

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(Photo of Indian brinjal Attribution Some rights reserved by mckaysavage)

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
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  • Monsanto is notoriously criminal, they are so incredibly dangerous. It blows my mind that they have their hands in our food supply. Sad state of affairs.

    • Lars

      Where have you been for the past 10 years or more. This isn’t a ‘new’ development! They’ve got a long list of violations of the freedom of individuals to choose their food forms and sources!!
      “Dangerous” is too kind of a word. AS this article demonstrates, India has had it up to ‘there’ with this thuggish corporation. They have the DC administration on their payroll for decades, in all administrations.
      It’s WAY OVERDUE for the Americans to RISE UP against this greedy and heartless conglomerate, and tell them WE ARE NOT GOING TO EAT YOUR FOOD. FORCE your states to enact LABELING LAWS, including ANY GMO INGREDIENTS! Some states have already passed laws BANNING GMO labeling!!!! To date, 14 or 15 states!
      Wake up, America! Your life depends on it! Get involved, and start melting down your legislators phones and fax machines.. and get active on the street, with street protests and posters informing the public!
      Write letters to the newspapers, and anywhere they will let you. Doesn’t matter if you cut and paste, just cite the sources! Don’t plagerize.. and if reprinting is by permission only, ASK FOR IT.. most will gladly give it! ‘

  • That is good news for all humans.