Farm activists across the country have demanded that the deadline to give feedback on the controversial Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2013 be extended to 90 days instead of 30.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat issued an advertisement on June 11 and sought public feedback in writing within 30 days.
“It is a highly controversial Bill and it could decide what all Indians eat. The Bill affects every citizen and encompasses issues related to human and animal health, environmental safety, livelihood, trade, and above all, food safety, food and seed sovereignty. So, to ensure meaningful public participation, we seek an extension,” said Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha.
The BRAI Bill seeks to set up a fast-track single window clearance system for genetically modified organisms.
The forum urged the state government to send its detailed feedback and play its part to ensure that such a Bill does not get passed.
“The way the Bill has been drafted and tabled disregarding widespread opposition and with basic intent of promoting biotechnology instead of regulating it, and protecting biosafety makes us term this India’s Monsanto Protection Bill,” said an activist.