Thursday, March 8, 2012

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

Monsanto, a giant, U.S. based agribusiness, is being charged with biopiracy in India. The government plans to charge the company with violating biodiversity laws set by the country, over an eggplant that was genetically modified by the company.

Indian farmers are upset with these major agricultural businesses who are genetically modifying crops, because they are taking business away from these local farmers and are destroying traditional crops, and threatening the farmers livelihood.

Last month, India announced that it is going to pursue charges against Monsanto for "stealing" an indiginous crop, (the eggplant), and creating a modified version of it without permission. This is a violation of India's 10-year-old Biological Diversity Act. This is the first biopiracy prosecution of a company in the country, and maybe even in the world. The Indian farmers argue that their strain of eggplant has been developed and grown in India over generations, and Monsanto doesn't have the right to come in and take that from them and make their own product out of the indiginous plant.

This is not the first time the Monsanto Corporation has caused a big controversy due to genetically modified crops. Several years ago the company introduced genetically modifeid cotton to India, which failed misurably and had a huge negative impact on the local farmers, as well as the company itself. The cotton crops failed in the Indian market, and caused farmers growing the crops to have enourmous debts. In fact the impact on the farmers in the area were so bad, that this caused thousands of them to commit suicide, due to their debts.

Monsanto has alot at stake when it comes to this case, as India is one of the biggest markets they deal with, where sales to the country now stand at around $7-billion per year. This is a huge market that the company does not want to lose.

Here is a write up and a video regarding this on going case against Monsanto Corp.

Bradon Kelly


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  2. Once again, Monsanto is the being the major co. bullies picking on the less fortunate to make a quick buck. It seems that Monsanto's externalities are problems for us and the world, this case is one of many examples of Monsanto taking advantage of how much money they have to throw around because they feel they can’t be challenged. India finally had enough of Monsanto's exploitation and had decided to take action. The Indian Government made the decision to charge Monsanto with Biopiracy witch is, "Bioprospecting that exploits plant and animal species by claiming patents to restrict their general use." and that is exactly what Monsanto has been doing for years to other small time farmers. Monsanto started in North American and took over a significant portion of the food market by taking over the farmers and telling them what they should and should not do. Now they have expanded into the Indian market with a North American plan which does not work with the Indian marketing strategies. The Indian market and style of business is all about saving and conserving, and the North American style of business is the total opposite.

    What I’m trying to say is that I'm not vary surprised at this situation because if it was not the Indian Government charging them im sure in time someone would be doing the same thing because Monsanto has taking its exploitation of the public to far. Like in the movie "The Corporation" Monsanto takes advantages of farmers and forces them into an all or nothing situation so they have no choice but to go with Monsanto or they would be financially in debt, and have nothing.

    Charging Monsanto is not going to be an easy task, but India’s government is content enough that they will be successful in the long run. All of India’s public is on board with the government’s plans of getting rid of Monsanto production in India. This would be a significant social impact to Indian market if they win this battle because they will be sending a message to not only Monsanto but to other big corporations who think they can take over the Indian style market. Win or lose this will have an impact on Monsanto's social responsibility once again and hopefully this situation is a step in the right direction to change their ways of being socially responsible.

    Shane Cunningham