|Leading Indian GM regulator on panel funded by biotech majors (13/10/2006)|
The co-chairman of India's regulatory body is on the board of directors of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) - a GM propaganda and GM 'technology transfer' ouitfit whose funders include Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred and the BBSRC .
ISAAA's multi-million dollar budget is matched by high-profile board members, past and present, such as: Monsanto's Robert Fraley, Wally Beversdorf of Syngenta, and Gabrielle Persley, Executive Director of AusBiotech Alliance and advisor to the World Bank .
GM regulator on panel funded by biotech majors
NEW DELHI: The co-chairman of the regulatory body for Genetically Modified Crops, Charudatta Mayee, has triggered a conflict-of-interest debate by becoming a director of an international network funded by biotech majors such as Monsanto, Bayer and Dupont.
Mayee told TOI that he did not attend the last two meetings of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) because he was thinking in terms of quitting the regulatory body to avoid "unnecessary controversy" over his appointment to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
Although ISAAA is dedicated to transferring biotechnology to developing countries, Mayee refutes the suggestion that his appointment to its board of directors on September 1 would get in the way of his regulatory job in India.
"ISAAA is engaged in a noble mission globally and this is the first time an Indian has had the honour of being on its board," he said, adding that "There is no conflict between its object of promoting biotechnology and GEAC's function of regulating GM crops."
On the issue of ISAAA being funded by the very companies that file applications before GEAC, Mayee said that the network commands such respect around the world that it receives donations from governments as well.
But, if he has already stopped attending GEAC's meetings and is planning to quit the regulatory body, it is only because, he says, "I don't want others to point fingers at me. After all, I am in the position of a judge."