Staff Correspondent

‘190 plants dropped from list of protected species’

‘Claim that it was done to facilitate exports untenable’

Raichur: The Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha (KPRS) has urged the Union Government to protect the rights of farmers and ban the introduction of genetically modified crops. It has also urged the Government to allow scientists to conduct extensive research to protect biodiversity.

Welcoming the decision to put on hold the introduction of Bt brinjal, Maruti Manpade, president of the State unit of the KPRS, thanked the Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh for his positive response towards farmers.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Manpade said the Union Government had brought in an amendment to the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, to drop 190 plants from the list of protected floral species. This, he said, was nothing but a move to allow multinational companies to gain control over our farm sector.

Condemning the move, he said this would subvert the very objective of the Act, which envisaged the conservation of Indian biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits of its genetic resources. The move would also compromise India’s sovereign right to use its biological resources.

Mr. Manpade said that in a notification issued on October 26, 2009, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests declared that the provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, would no longer apply to the 190 plant species The Minister’s assertion that these 190 items were removed from the purview of the Act in order to facilitate exports was untenable, he added.