ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Krishna Ravi SrinivasSubscribe to Krishna Ravi Srinivas

Genetically Modified Crops: Policy Logjam

In its interim report to the Supreme Court, the Technical Expert Committee has called for a 10-year moratorium on fi eld trials of genetically modifi ed crops in India. An evolving process, regulation of biotechnology needs to take into account the lessons learnt, current and future needs, changes in laws and rules, and advances in science and technology. While the current regulatory framework can be improved, a blanket moratorium does not help us move beyond polarised debates in biotechnology.

Approval of GM Crops

Socio-economic considerations associated with the application of gene technologies have been a major concern, especially in developing countries, which are caught between the potentials of biotechnology for development, on the one hand, and their adverse socio-economic impacts, on the other. Globally, the experience of countries even with the most advanced regimes for incorporating these issues shows that addressing them effectively remains a challenge. The Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, the only global instrument for governance of genetically modified crops, does not address these considerations. Thus policy frameworks depend primarily on domestic concerns and priorities. Recent attempts to separate socio-economic assessment from biosafety assessment processes and conduct the two in parallel appear to embody a more pragmatic approach. The proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill must draw upon this international experience and associated insight.

Intellectual Property Rights and Traditional Knowledge

Copyright claims pertaining to yoga postures and techniques have increased anxiety over the use of intellectual property rights in the realm of traditional knowledge. This article addresses the complexities of the issue.

UNESCO: Cultural Diversity Convention

While the proposed UNESCO convention on cultural diversity will definitely help nations frame cultural policies that prove adequate in countering "more superior, global" cultures, there are fears that it may not prove helpful in protecting and promoting cultural diversity within nations.
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