Re-Engineering Biosafety Regulations In India: Towards a Critique of Policy, Law and Prescriptions









A. Damodaran
Homi Bhabha Fellow,
Indian Institute of Management,
Bangalore – 560076, India
damodaran@iimb.ernet.in

This article surveys the structure and essence of India’s biosafety regulations from an evolutionary perspective. After detailing the processes associated with the biosafety law and guidelines in the country, this article looks critically at recent efforts to re-engineer the regulations. It is argued that India’s biosafety regulations should move towards a more inclusive approach, which will facilitate transparent and informed decision-making, based on stakeholder-convergence. It is also suggested that the entire spectrum of laws and regulations that have a direct or indirect bearing on biosafety in India, need to be explored so that greater coherence could be secured in the management of biotechnology products that are sensitive to the environment. Drawing from the experience of the Bt cotton case, the article advocates a greater role for civil society and grassroots organizations.

 

Biosafety, biotechnology safety guidelines, Bt cotton, civil society, Environment Protection Act, National Biodiversity Act, Patents Act, plant varieties protection, precautionary principle, regulatory governance, single window clearance.


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