Raise your voice against the tripartite brinjal agreement in Bangladesh!

US based multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsanto's subsidiary in India named Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company Ltd.) is now the commercial and intellectual property owner of 'Bt Brinjal' and it's 9 varieties in Bangladesh that was infused with the Bt gene (Shokaler Khobor). Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Mahyco and Sathguru Management Consultants Private Ltd. signed a tripartite agreement on March 14, 2005 making Mahyco the entity that owns right to distribute Bt Brinjal seeds commercially and holds right to go for any legal action if any distribution is made without their permission (Financial Express). According to experts, Bt Brinjal is injurious to not only human body but also to adjacent environ through cross-pollination. This, in turn, poses the risk of the spread of such an intellectual right ownership to other plants, going favourably for Mahyco. Monsanto-Mahyco, in such cases, can claim indemnity which clearly violates the food security of Bangladesh (UNB Connect). In simple language, all Bt Brinjal seed produced by BARI is in ownership of Mahyco and the distribution of any amount has to be approved by them. An expert has claimed that insects have already become resistant to the the 'Bt toxin' that is infused in the brinjals (UNB Connect). Moreover, environmental activists have also claimed that BARI did not perform safety research appropriately before such introduction of brinjal seeds completely not taking into consideration the effect it will have on farmers who still produce local brinjals (Daily Sun). I personally believe that it was reckless of the then-government to not take into account the future food security and environmental implications of such a trade decision. It is also baffling how the present government is claiming that the Bt Brinjal seed's ownership remains with Bangladeshi farmers while the evidence clearly seems to inform otherwise (Financial Express). I urge all conscious readers and my fellow people to stand against such an agreement and raise their voices against genetically engineering our natural food system.

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