India is ground zero for the intellectual property rights fight over food. At this point, it’s basically corporations vs. the humans of the world. Oops, Supreme court decided that corporations are people too. But keep an eye on your nation’s key foods, cuz in India the fight is about onions and eggplants.
Now the National Biodiversity Authority of India (NBA) has dealt another blow: it has decided to sue the US biotech giant Monsanto and its Indian collaborators who developed the Bt brinjal.
The extraordinary decision by NBA is based on a complaint filed last year by the Bangalore-based Environment Support Group (ESG), alleging that the developers violated India’s Biological Diversity Act of 2002 by using local brinjal varieties in developing Bt Brinjal without prior approval from NBA. Leo F. Saldanha of ESG says his group is hopes NBA will not only launch the legal proceedings soon but also stop processing Monsanto’s recent application to work with two varieties of Indian onions.