Greenpeace writes to Parliamentary Standing Committee to extend deadline for Public Consultations for BRAI Bill

Urging the Chair to follow NAC recommendations, strengthen the process

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Press release - June 11, 2013
New Delhi: June 11, 2013: Greenpeace on Tuesday wrote to Dr. T Subbarami Reddy, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, urging him to increase the time limit for public consultations for the BRAI Bill from 30 days to at least 90 days(1). This was in response to the media advertisements that the standing committee had put out today giving a month's time for public response to the controversial BRAI Bill.

"The 30 day limit, starting from today, for public to comment on Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, which is going to impact every citizen, our health, our environment, our livelihoods, our food and farming, is very short. This would not suffice if one wants to get adequate public participation on a legislation of this gravity,” said Neha Saigal, campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace in its letter demanded the parliamentary standing committee to follow the recent recommendations by the National Advisory Council chaired by Smt. Sonia Gandhi and ensure a  transparent, inclusive and equitable pre legislative consultative process.(2)

The BRAI Bill, introduced in Lok Sabha in April this year, was sent to the Standing Committee of Science and Technology, Environment and Forests. The committee headed by Congress Member of Rajya Sabha, T Subbarami Reddy, has been asked to submit its report within three months.

Greenpeace in its letter to the chairman has made the following demands:

1.         To increase the time limit for the public consultation to atleast 90 days

2.         Ensure information dissemination on the bill to every citizen through various channels suggested by the NAC.

3.         To hold public hearings across the country to ensure an inclusive and equitable consultative process and

4.         To ensure that a transparent process is put in place on standing committee deliberations on this legislation.

Notes to the Editor:-

  1. Greenpeace letter to T Subbarami Reddy http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/docs/Letter-to-S-Reddy-on-public-consultations-on-BRAI-Bill.pdf
  2. NAC recommendations on pre-legislative consultations can be accessed at http://nac.nic.in/pdf/plp.pdf

For More info:

Neha Saigal, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India: : +91-7760968772

Media Contacts:

Shuchita Mehta, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: :              +91-9560990606

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