According to a news source, the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011, was withdrawn from the Monsoon Session of Parliament after congressional members and others objected to placing the new regulatory agency under the authority of the Ministry of Science & Technology. The government of India prepared the bill in September to “regulate the research, transport, import, manufacture and use of organisms and products of modern biotechnology.” Science & Technology and Agriculture ministers reportedly told cotton farmers during the recent World Cotton Research Conference that the bill would streamline regulations for genetically modified (GM) crops so more could be grown in the country.
Meanwhile, environmental interests apparently oppose the measure and have demanded that GM crops not be cultivated in India. A spokesperson for the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture said, “We strongly oppose it. The bill is undemocratic, unconstitutional and non-transparent; it should be scrapped. It should not be passed in any session.” She also reportedly claimed that it would serve the interests of multinational companies only. See Government of India, Ministry of Science & Technology Press Release, September 8, 2011; Business Standard, November 8, 2011; MSN India, November 11, 2011.