India opens consultation on biotech authority bill
The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill has been opened for public consultation for a period of 30 days. It was tabled in the Lok Sabha (lower house) of Parliament in April (Agrow No 663, p 24) and was sent to a Parliamentary standing committee for review last month (Agrow No 665, p 23). The Bill has been mired in controversy and environmentalist group Greenpeace has already written to the chairman of the standing committee to increase the consultation period from 30 days to “at least” 90 days. There have been persistent delays since the initial proposal for its founding in 2004 (Agrow No 451, p 20). It was to be tabled in Parliament last year but was withdrawn by the then Science and Technology Minister at the last minute (Agrow No 648, p 19).