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Monsanto, World's Largest Genetically Modified Food Producer, To Be Charged With Biopiracy in India

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page.


Add a new word to your lexicon: Biopiracy.

That's what U.S.-based agribusiness giant Monsanto has been accused of in India, where the government is planning to charge the company with violating the country's biodiversity laws over a genetically modified version of eggplant.

In doing so, India has placed itself at the focal point of the movement to challenge genetically modified crops, which opponents say are destroying traditional crops and threatening farmers' livelihoods.

"This can send a   message to the big companies [that] they are violating the laws of the nation," K.S. Sugara of the Karnataka Biodiversity Board told France 24 (see video below). "It is not acceptable   that the farmers in our communities are robbed of the advantage they should get from the indigenous varieties."

India announced last month it is pursuing charges against Monsanto for "stealing" an indigenous crop -- eggplant -- and using it to create a modified version without permission, a violation of India's decade-old Biological Diversity Act. It's the first prosecution of a company for the act of "biopiracy" in the country, and possibly the world.