By Mahim Pratap Singh
BRAI Bill will override State regulations, leaving States with an advisory role.
The BRAI bill “ignores the constitutional powers that State governments have over their agriculture and health, and goes against the federal structure of the republic.” ~ Dr. Ramakrishna Kusumaria, State Agriculture Minister of Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh government has reacted strongly to the setting up of the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI), accusing the Centre of attempting to impinge upon the autonomy of the State. The BRAI Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and is expected to be tabled in the current session of Parliament.
Orissa, Kerala, Assam and several other States have also been opposing the Bill.
The proposed Bill will set up the BRAI, having the role of a clearing house/facilitator/approver for applications pertaining to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). It is also expected to take over the functions of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, which will assume the role of “appraiser” instead of “approver.”
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