Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011 (BRAI): Wrong Bill by the wrong people, for the wrong reasons

Transgenics or GE/GM crops are one of the oft-used tools of modern biotechnology, deployed in our food and farming systems. Genetically Modified (GM) or Genetically Engineered (GE) crops are created unnaturally by inserting genes, taken usually from alien organisms like bacteria, viruses, animals and other unrelated plants, for obtaining certain new ‘traits’ or characteristics that the new genes are supposed to bring with them and express in the GE/GM crop. This kind of insertion of “genetic constructs” of a combination of bacterial and viral genes, for instance, does not happen in Nature. In Nature, the genome of any organism gets created at an evolutionary time scale and regulation of molecular level function is a highly complex, as-yet-incompletely-understood scientific arena. This is the critique of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2011 by the Coalition for a GM-Free India.