Madhya Pradesh opposes Biotech Regulatory Bill

You can download Dr Ramakrishna Kusmariya’s letter to Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh here.

Madhya Pradesh opposes Biotech Regulatory Bill

Madhya Pradesh has decided to officially oppose the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill, to be tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday.

State Agriculture Minister Ramkrishna Kusmaria has written to Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, stating Madhya Pradesh’s opposition to some key provisions of Bill.

“States have a Constitutional right to decide on the subjects of health and agriculture. The BRAI Bill, regarding which I have drawn the Centre’s attention earlier, violates this right thereby compromising the States’ autonomy,” Dr. Kusmaria has said in his letter to Mr. Deshmukh.

Dr. Kusmaria has also pointed out that genetic modification of crops was a dangerous technology, the safety of which had yet to be established.

“Indian farmers will get dependent on GM seeds and eventually the entire indigenous agriculture will fall under the control of a few international corporations,” the Minister has written.

It is for these reasons, Dr. Kusmaria has written, that the Madhya Pradesh government registers its strong protest against the BRAI Bill and the proposed field trials of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the State.

The BRAI Bill reportedly has certain controversial provisions against which several States, including Kerala and Orissa, have registered their protests.

Eleven former Supreme Court judges, including former Chief Justice of India Justice M.H. Kania, have also issued a “statement of concern” on the BRAI Bill.

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