Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The BRAI bill is riddled with problems

The BRAI bill is riddled with problems. Here are some of the glaring issues.

  • The current BRAI bill was drafted in a secretive fashion with no opportunity for the general public to comment on a legislation which deals with something of this magnitude- the safety of our food.
  • There is an inherent conflict of interest with the proposed BRAI being located within the Ministry of Science and Technology, a body who also has a mandate to promote GM crops.
  • In the BRAI bill there is not even a mention of independent long term bio-safety testing and assessments of GM crops which is crucial to assess their safety for the present and the future.
  • It is a centralised and narrow decision making process with no effective mechanism of consultation from the public which is against the spirit of democracy.
  • There is no mechanism of transparency. Worse, the BRAI bill will bypass the citizen’s right to information by overriding the Right to Information Act.
  • The BRAI bill takes away the decision making authority of the state governments in open releases of GM crops, including for experiments. It supersedes the constitutional authority of state governments over public health and agriculture.
  • There is no deterrent liability mechanism thereby facilitating the giant seed corporations to go more or less unpunished for the grave dangers that their GM crops can cause to us and our future generations.
  • BRAI by lowering the bar for GM crop approvals are facilitating the take over of our farming and food by multinational seed corporations like Monsanto, thus even challenging our country’s sovereignty.