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The Grassroots Campaigner Behind the Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court
Aruna Rodrigues

The proposed new NBRA Act, (National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority) is at the outset, in its very definition, scientifically erroneous because it 'dumps' genetic engineering and its products GMOs/LMOs under an all-purpose and ubiquitous 'biotechnology' umbrella. It therefore seeks to replace the apex GM Regulator in India the GEAC, which is the only mandated authority under the EPA (Environmental Protection Act of India) that can authorize environmental releases of GMOs. Anything more corrupt, cancerous in its very guts and soul, would be difficult to imagine. This is the grand fait accompli presented by the Government of India to its own people. It aims to formalize and legalize 6 years of scandalous, illegal approvals mired in a deep conflict of interest and in a manner that would make it very difficult for civil society to oppose. Astonishingly, it seeks to legalize the very notion of 'Conflict of Interest' 

This will be a 'LOLLIPOP' ACT if it is allowed to be enacted, as it presents hazardous GMOs as not merely benign but beneficial. This is how the ACT is presented, right up there in its opening clause. It is proposed by 'experts' in the Department of Biotechnology to replace the existing 'RULES' which acknowledge the inherently hazardous nature of genetic engineering and its products GMOs, unlike the proposed Act.  It lays bare the collective Government will, across all relevant Ministries, particularly the MoEF to promote GM crops, unfettered, and unopposed.

Underpinned crucially by the KIA (the Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture) signed with the US in early 2006., which puts the US multinational, Monsanto on its Board, this Act will serve US designs for control over our agriculture and food, very well and without a doubt. Its aim is to convert India into one gigantic FIELD growing patented GMO Crops, to be harvested at will by mainly US GE Transnational Corporations, principally Monsanto, for their profit. Our farmers and our farming systems are of little consequence in this dangerous game. So also is public health and most critically, India's rich biodiversity. Both will be altered through 'transgenic' (i.e. GM) contamination in perpetuity. Our Food will be made permanently UNSAFE.
Furthermore, the only possible reason for the DBT (the Department of Biotechnology, the authors of the proposed Act and 'movers' behind GM approvals in India), to come up with such a disingenuous & even fraudulent formula of 'single window clearance', is that it will speed-up approvals of GM crops. This is usually the route in every country to enable civil society to by-pass bureaucratic hassles & corruption and trump them. It is now being used as a maneuver to by-pass every relevant Ministry, like Food Safety, Drugs and Cosmetics  and State Governments (because Agriculture in India is a State subject). By this means, if seeks to consolidate POWER unfettered and unopposed, for GM approvals in the 'Authority' (read DBT).
The extent of the fraud on India is both perplexing and frightening with a proposed legal framework to enforce it. The proposed new Act is not just dangerous, it is unnervingly treacherous and unashamedly brazen. This is not merely a complete sell-out of India's National Interest; in my book, the intent through this Act is virtually a coup d'état!


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The latest issue of Plant Physiology (July 2008; Volume 147, Issue 3) has a special section on next generation of biotech crops especially on nutritional improvement.  These papers can
be downloaded free!

Influence of Transgenosis on the Plant-Insect- Relationships, in Particular on Chemically       Mediated Interactions

Effect of Transgenes Conferring Enhanced Pathogen Resistance on the Interaction with Symbiotic        Fungi in Rice

Impact on the Soil Ecosystem through Natural and Genetically Engineered Organisms:
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The Decomposition of Bt-Corn on the Fields and its Impact on Earthworms and on other        Macroorganisms in the Soil

Environmental Post-market Monitoring of Bt-maize:
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