Seed Patenting and Environmental Law In India – by Patruni Srilakshmi

There has been a huge controversy surrounding the use of GM crops and patenting of the hybrid seeds by the large agri-business corporations in light of environmental stability and sustainability. Seed throbs with life and it is the result of years of biological evolution. No one can treat life as their private property and claim ownership over it. The freedom to share and save seeds is the basic right of every life form and the seed producers. It is the utmost effort at expression of nature’s creativity and bio-cultural diversity. Ecology and environment involve a very harmonious relationship between all the living and non-living organisms constitutive of them. The food chain of the ecology starts with the basic ingredient of life, the seed .

The law of the seed is based upon recognition of the nature’s dynamic contribution towards the evolution and preservation of diversity in the environment. But the law regulating the seed today is leading to the destruction of the right of life that is inherent in the seed and criminalizing the farmers who save and share the seeds. This law is being shaped by a handful of corporations who desire a complete monopoly over the seed. In a world where the dominant thinking favours an individualistic and capitalistic order, the law which regulates the environment necessarily causes harm being influenced by the dominant paradigm.

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