Criminal proceedings against Monsanto/Mahyco and others, back on track

In February 2010, during the Bangalore Public Hearing organised by then Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Mr. Jairam Ramesh on the question of according environmental clearance to B.t. Brinjal, India's first food GMO, Environment Support Group had raised the contention that the entire process by which the proprietary product had been developed was in comprehensive violation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992, and constituted an outrageous act of biopiracy of India's endemic brinjal (eggplant) varieties. To substantiate this charge, ESG produced evidence that all the endemic varieties of brinjal that had been accessed by the UAS and Monsanto/Mahyco, with technical support from Sathguru and USAID, and the act of inserting the B.t. gene (a proprietary product of Monsanto), were undertaken without any consent of local Biodiversity Management Committees, the State Biodiversity Board and the National Biodiversity Authority. The Minister, however, chose to belittle these concerns.