Indian Government Files Biopiracy Lawsuit Against Monsanto

October 11th 2011

By Jonathan Benson – Natural News

Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an offensive approach against this attempted agricultural takeover by suing Monsanto for “biopiracy,” accusing the company of stealing India’s indigenous plants in order to re-engineer them into patented varieties.

Brinjal, also known in Western nations as eggplant, is a native Indian crop for which there are roughly 2,500 different unique varieties. Millions of Indian farmers grow brinjal, which is used in a variety of Indian food dishes, and the country grows more than a quarter of the world’s overall supply of the vegetable.

And in an attempt to capitalize on this popular crop, Monsanto has repeatedly tried to commercially market its own GM variety of brinjal called Bt brinjal. But massive public outcry against planned commercial approval of Monsanto’s “frankencrop” variety in 2010 led to the government banning it for an indefinite period of time.

But Monsanto is still stealing native crops, including brinjal, and quietly working on GM varieties of them in test fields, which is a clear violation of India’s Biological Diversity Act (BDA). So at the prompting of various farmers and activists in India, the Indian government, representing the first time in history a nation that has taken such action, has decided to sue Monsanto.

“This can send a different message to the big companies for violating the laws of the nation,” said K.S. Sugara, Member Secretary of the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, to France 24 concerning the lawsuit. “It is not acceptable … that the farmers in our communities are robbed of the advantage they should get from the indigenous varieties.”

Farmers and active members of the public in India have been some of the world’s most outspoken opponents of Monsanto’s attempted GM takeover of agriculture. Besides successfully overturning the attempted approval of Bt brinjal, these freedom fighters have also successfully destroyed several attempted Monsanto GM test fields.

VIDEO: Watch the full France 24 video report of India’s lawsuit against Monsanto below

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  • Fabulous. Just wonderful news!

    • Alan Wilson

      I hope the indian government takes them to the cleaners the latest i have heard that monsanto is lobbying government to stop people growing food in their own back yard a freind wastelling me that new zealand has gone that way government has passed a bill forbiding anyone from growing food you cant give it away sell it or grow it even the humble fruit trees they call it food security my freind was saying the world governments are all planing to make this law scarry stuff

  • Rob Mecum

    I can’t tell you just how happy it makes me to hear this. I wish EVERY Country would do this, including the United States. These criminal entities need to be dealt with HARSHLY & QUICKLY to send a CLEAR message that the people of the World have had enough of this dispicable, unnatural, criminal behaviour! Just because something CAN be done does NOT mean it SHOULD be done!

    • Great point, bob on just cuz something can be done does not mean that it should be done.

      We can apply this same reasoning to work: Just because we are good at something does not mean that we should or have to do it.

      Peas, J*

  • CadenceSF

    Finally some government are coming to their senses! It’s about time. Only a stupid short sighted government would ever let Monsanto set foot in their country. Monsanto have created Agent Orange that deforested Vietnam, poisoned many people, contributed to birth defects… then created rBGH(Bovine growth hormone) that makes cow produce too much milk, causing bleeding and puss to form, when there is already a surplus of milk. And lot of GMO(genetic modified organism), some with the “terminal genes” that are incapable of producing seed for the next planting season, there by making farmer slaves to Monsanto seeds. They are nothing but a true manifestation of evil

    • Faye Hall

      Ummmm…. the United States let’s Monsanto run rampart in their own country, even sending the FDA and the FBI to destroy family farms, killing the animals, killing the plants, seizing the farm equipment and destroying the livelihood of the families. They even destroy family farms that only sell to people who join a collective. But Monsanto GM foods are sold in the grocery stores and they refuse to label them.

  • Damian

    It is great to see so many Americans opposing corporate rapaciousness. Best thing to do is petition and become active through forcing the FDA to take a principled stand!

  • Damian

    It is great to see Americans opposing corporate rapaciousness. Best thing to do is petition and become active through forcing the FDA to take a principled stand!

  • AngelAvilesMcClinton (@angelmcclinton)

    The IRONY!!! The so called 3rd world coming to the rescue of humanity. So blessed to be waking up. Even on days when the world seems harsh… Peace, blessings and whole food to everyone.

  • Stephen Olof Wikblom

    Someone post a list of everything that Monsanto is connected with so that we can boycott products, people, companies etc.
    It is everyones duty worldwide to crush this Serpent Company called MONSANTO.

    Stephen Olof Wikblom…Sheep Shearer…Australia

  • sandra


  • Martin Desmarais

    About time. I hope this will set a precedent, prompting other nations to also stand up to this quiet tyranny

  • bhyesh

    Playing with the mother nature and it’s product will definitely have adverse effects on life, though in short run the danger is pinpointed but we must see the damage that it can cause in the near future. It’s stupidity in the part of companies to fiddling with what god has gifted us……..

    • Hari

      Happy to see that my email protest via Greepeace did work.
      So, still there is a ray of hope in this country.

  • Dena

    yes, good for india. monsanto is the epitome of evil, but there is a larger issue at play. PATENTING OF ANY LIVING ORGANISM SHOULD BE PROHIBITED. the fact that someone can claim copyright on food and medicinal plants and even human dna is atrocious.

  • Sharon

    Good for them.

  • PlantLover

    I think we should start a facebook page and build support to show that we Indians care about our culture, heritage and what is and has been ours for centuries. GM has been shown to create health problems in several trials….

  • Ehyron

    Who’s the idiot that keeps thumbing down everyones comments? Damn monsanto sympathizers. If you got something to say spit it out you moron(s).

  • TMac

    WONDERFUL NEWS. Monsanto is no better than Haliburton or KBR was, or other companies which are criminals protected by laws passed via lobbyists

  • Thanks for bringing us the news. Will be happy to follow tweet and use our PDX website for your campaign, Monsanto, We are watching

  • K

    I wish more countries did the same thing against these monsanto bastards then again Canada I mean Harper is too much of a pussy to do so.

  • We must all come together to make sure we create a just, thriving and sustainable world for ALL… a world that works for everyone. Thank you, India, for being strong and setting an example for what is right.

  • utsav shashvatt

    I was waiting for such an action by the Indian govenment. great step forward !!

  • doxiedi

    Thank you India!!!!

  • doxiedi

    Thank you India!