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India: Monsanto sued for biopiracy

Date: 4 Oct 2011

Photo of chemical vials

The government of India is suing Monsanto for contravening the country's Biological Diversity Act, according to France24. The company is accused of having taking an indigenous aubergine species and used it to create a genetically modified version without permission.

It is legal in India to develop GM crops from indigenous crops, but in this specific case the government had put down a moratorium on the use of aubergines following negative reaction from farmers last year.

However, the case touches on a wider issue of the exploitation by multinationals of local resources and knowledge. Farmers argue that they have developed the breed of aubergine used locally over generations and the company is in effect stealing this development and then creating an end result which it will protect with its own patent.

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