Tuesday, May 8, 2018

India’s High Court Does Its Part . . .

 . . . to rescue Indian farmers from the demented Agribusiness giants:

Opponents of genetically modified crops received a boost when the Delhi High Court upheld the Indian Patent Act, which states that seeds and life forms cannot be patented, and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 (PPV&FR Act), which biotechnology multinationals have tried to undermine, and ruled that key plant genetic material cannot be patented. The court was deciding a dispute between Monsanto and Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd, Prabhat Agri Biotech Ltd and Pravardhan Seeds Private Ltd, over interpretation of law, especially Section 3(j) of the Indian Patent Act and applicability of PPV&FR Act for transgenic plants.

Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Yogesh Khanna, on April 11, ruled that Monsanto Technologies LLC does not have the patent for Bt Cotton seed varieties ‘Bollgard’ and ‘Bollgard II’. The Bench permitted Monsanto three months to register the seed varieties under the Plant Varieties Act (PV Act), which would entitle the firm to trait fee (royalty) as fixed by the Government, give it control over plant reproductive materials, but not the key genetic material, which would be available to the public for further research and development.

The ruling is a boost to domestic seed companies that used Monsanto’s gene to prepare Bt Cotton seeds for farmers, and will seriously curb the ability of multinationals to establish a seed monopoly in India, which is the goal of the GM industry. This could downsize the market for genetically modified seeds in India (in any life form) and pave the way for more environmentally sustainable agriculture.


The ruling forbids Monsanto from stopping supplies to seed companies and holding farmers hostage. Monsanto will have to abide by Indian laws to operate in India. Reluctance will help revive the native seed industry which has been undermined by the agri-MNCs and their links with public-funded agricultural institutions that never bothered to assess the impact of GM seeds on soil, animal and human health.

Now, which State, county, or parish governments in the South are ready to act in such a decisive manner to save Southern farmers from Monsanto, ADM, etc.?


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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