Resolution : Don’t legalise food colonialism and slavery of seed sovereignty through BRAI
18 July 2010
Government of BHARAT is now with a bill in the form of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI)Bill, 2009.Government wants to set up BRAI, in place of the Genetic Engineering Approvals Committee (GEAC), a three-member regulatory body that will act as single-window clearing house for all GM [Genetically Modified] crops and their commercial applications.
With the processing of such applications as its primary mandate, the Bill is scheduled to be introduced and passed in Parliament this year. Government is in quick haste to pass the bill, particularly after the compelled moratorium on BT brinjal early this year. Introduction of BT brinjal faced stiff opposition from all quarters; from farming community to scientists, from intellectuals to health advisers, from social workers to religious leaders, from economists to environmentalists, from political outfits to almost all brinjal growing state governments.
Still, why UPA government at centre wants a legal pass for this anti nature, anti social, anti bio diversity, anti ecology, anti farmer, pro-health disaster, and pro MNC bill [BRAI] anyway, is a big question. As if there is a heavy pressure of unknown quarters either from inside and out side our country, ignoring the basic premise for biotech regulation, to pass this bill. Anybody can assume that this is nothing but a “scientific tyranny “or a terrorism of unsocial science regulated by some MNCs and favoured by few political bosses of today’s central Govt.
Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill (BRAB) of 2009 drafted by the department of bio-technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology. It extends to the whole of India.
But if anybody goes through this BRAI bill, he/she can well understand that this is nothing but a sugar coated poisonous tablet. Cunningly the GM nexus is working against the sustainability of the human race and for mass extermination of human population and the nature. Even the proposed Bill does not have any provision to punish corporate house and/or people who conceal information of adverse effects of genetically modified organisms and food. Planning Commission’s Task Force on Biodiversity and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) for the 11th Plan says the problem with this regulatory system is that “it lacks technical competence, transparency and stringency” and this new Bill does nothing to set right these shortcomings. Even environment minister Jairam Ramesh also opposed the idea of setting up a biotech regulatory under the proposed bill calling it “deeply flawed” and “anti-democratic”. Anybody can say -it is evident that this is a game by MNCs and the notorious caucus group only to control the world by controlling the entire food chain and patent all life forms, so as to help them consolidate their position and have dominance.
This authority is three member weak body with short term of 3 years and reappointment provision.
There will be representation of State Governments, any farmers representation, consumers or public interest groups. There will be No bar on subsequent employment of these members [like the Human Rights commission].
The Advisory body of this authority and scientific bodies can have endless members from PRIVATE sector. In-fact all members can be from Private Companies.
Section 61 and 62 so drafted that – Nobody can ever be penalized for any violations. Again Chapter 13 section 63 of the draft bill says, “Whoever, without any evidence or scientific record misleads the public about the safety of the organisms and products…shall be punished with imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year and with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or with both.There is also no provision for penalty for concealment of information and for concealment or misrepresentation about safety of GE products. No Offences are cognizable in this draft.In a Nut Shell – No body would ever be punished for pushing the human race to death, disease and devastation.
The layout and provisions of the structure clearly shows that BRAI is not going to be a regulatory authority but an approval agency. It is equally undemocratic and violative of our Constitution that states have been kept out of the regulatory process although agriculture and health, for that matter – is a state subject.[ as in Article 246 of Constitution LIST II of 7 th Schedule Item 14: Agriculture, including agricultural education and research, protection against pests and prevention of plant diseases.]
Seriously it is so unconstitutional that – Section 2of this draft says– It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take under its control the regulation of organisms, products and processes of modern biotechnology industry. That means It will override all laws made by the STATE Government and will gain exclusive control over item specified in list II of VII th Schedule without actually going in for an amendment. Also it will encroach into Environment Protection Act 1986.
Finally you can’t get any information about all these through right to information act. What a fascist idea.
When these GM products will be marketed there will be no Post-marketing surveillance and monitoring of these products with proven evidences of their harmful effects of these products – nobody will be held responsible for that, nobody can recall the product, and nobody can revoke the approval of these products also. Where is the regulation and where is the regulatory body then? By all these analysis one can say that this Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill is an assessment of how we all Bharatiyas (and all our future generations) are being put up as bonded. The ultimate result by implementing this bill will be–The MNCs will get royalty and commission every time you feel hungry and every bite of food you take. The diseases caused by the GE products would be treated only by the GE medicines they will have. So by adopting this bill we will be pushed towards a permanent slavery and disaster. The bottom line of our national agricultural biotechnology policy should be the economic well-being of farm families, food security of the nation, health security of the consumer, protection of the environment and the security of our national and international trade in farm commodities, out of which no purpose will be fulfilled by this bill.
This biotech bill will misguide the country by a decision of only 3 technocrats, make approval of unsafe GM food; overrule the citizen’s right to know, kill the consumer right to choose by refusing labeling and pushing the country into a treadmill of GM foods and jeopardise food security and sovereignty.
So Bharatiya Kisan Sangha Prabandha Samiti appeals to all the MPs and the people to oppose this antinational draconian BRAI bill inside and outside the parliament respectively and to all the state governments to oppose this bill to restore their constitutional rights.
Finally BHARATIYA KISHAN SANHGA proposes to our central Govt. to scrap this BRAI Bill totally and bring a judicious Biotech Safety Authority Bill in it’s place for the betterment of our vast population or else for restoring our nations fundamental rights, freedom of speech, human right provisions, democracy and sovereignty of our country Bharatiya Kisan Sangha will agitate to any extent as when and where it will think and feel appropriate.