14th June 2019
Aruna Rodrigues’s attempt to get the GOI to take legal action on my support for science, truth and liberty
Not content with her claims being THOROUGHLY rebutted, Aruna has gone on to ask the GOI to take legal action against me: https://colintodhunter.blogspot.com/2019/06/aruna-rodrigues-issues-legal-notice-to.html
The screenshot here.
Aruna Rodrigues issues legal notice to initiate legal proceedings stop illegal GMO release
On 11 June, Aruna Rodrigues issued a legal notice to Chandra Kishore Mishra Secretary Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and to AK Jain, Chairperson, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), thereby exercising her right to initiate legal proceedings against these two officials under Sec 19 (b) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 if corrective and necessary legal action in not taken by them to stop the illegal environmental release of Bt Brinjal and other GMOs in India, during the due notice period, followed by other corrective action to eliminate every trace of brinjal contamination. The legal notice, by way of a letter, is published in full below.
Mr. Chandra Kishore Mishra
Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, Jorbagh Road, New Delhi 110003
Mr. AK Jain,
Chairperson, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC),
Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India.
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Aliganj Road, Jorbagh, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Reg.: Lack of action by the MoEF & CC and its Regulator the GEM in: emergency action to (a) ascertain source and stop illegal planting of Bt Brinjal in various parts of the country, (b) test for contamination to eliminate risk of contamination of Brinjal germplasm & (c) the dangerous escalation through the open threat to plant Bt brinjal and unapproved GMOs. This has now taken place (11 June).
Dear Mr. Mishra and Mr Jain,
- You are well aware of the events since the 23 April 2019 with regard to the illegal planting of Bt brinjal in Haryana and I refer you to the following specific communication: (a) The Legal Notice by Prashant Bhushan to the Honble Minister, MoEF & CC, Dr Harsh Vaalhan dated 12 May 2019 and (b) my subsequent email to Mr Jain dated 14 May 2019 requesting ‘PCR EVENT-SPECIFIC Bt brinjal tests’ to ascertain the source of the illegal Bt brinjal seeds/saplings etc. Mr Bhushan provided comprehensive detail of the events surrounding the illegal planting of Bt brinjal and the urgent action that is now required from the Ministry because of the threat of contamination of India’s rich brinjal germplasm. This would be in violation of the Supreme Court’s Order of 10 May 2007 of “no contamination”. He furthermore, drew urgent attention to the clear and egregious violation of the indefinite Central Government Moratorium on Bt brinjal dated February 2010, ordered by Jairam Ramesh, erstwhile Hon’ble Minister MoEF, which is still in place. He further pointed out that regrettably thus far, no response was visible from the Ministry to such serious events and violations, confirming the failure of GMO regulation; that “ln the fourteen years since the filing of the PH, (Aruna Rodrigues v Union of India, WP (CIVIL) No.260/2005) for a moratorium on GMOs there has been a disregard for the most basic norms. This situation now goes beyond anything imaginable, a descent into utter lawlessness as is clear from the following.
- I now address you to appraise you of the dangerous escalation, even madness through the open threat handed down by some farmers, Monsanto and biotech lobbyists, including foreigners. They will plant Bt brinjal in defiance of the moratorium on it on 10 June 2019. https://theprint.in/india/thousands-to-risk-jail-rs-1-lakh-fine-at-worlds-first-farmer-stir-in-favour-of-gm-crops/247612/
- In fact it seems as of this morning of the 11 June, they have planted as threated yesterday, actively speer-headed by a foreigner called Sanjeev Sabhlok <email@example.com>), inciting ferment, acting seditiously and also in defiance of international laws, but doing so from a safe distance in Australia. The law has a long arm and you are required to act in this matter too. I will inform the Ministry of External Affairs.
- This is nothing less than an act of war on the biosafety and biosecurity of India, in clear breach of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, the ‘Rules’ governing hazardous GMOs and International laws. Art 15 of the Biosafety laws requires Government to act when the rules are violated —
- These matters are in criminal breach of the law and of an unprecedented level of threat that requires emergency responses by the Ministry. We require you to act tinder the full authority given to you under the Act, to respond with speed, including media warnings of criminal prosecution to restore sanity immediately.
- As the Chief Executive Officer of the MoEF & Cc and Chair of the GEAC respectively, and given the visible absence of any move from you to act thus far, I am constrained to remind you that you are tasked with the specific duty of ensuring that the aforesaid Ministerial decision, Supreme Court directive and ‘Rules’ for hazardous GMOs are implemented without any fault and laxity whatsoever. The impending multiple threats with regard to the illegal planting of Bt Brinjal and the subsequent clear course of action that will be required in order to eliminate any contamination what-so-ever, and these matters look to being long drawn-out, must be tackled head on, with implacable intent and the utmost rigour; the culprits must face criminal charges as appropriate, for relevant offences as per the Environment Protection Act, and other applicable laws.
- Please take notice that b way of this letter I am exercising my right to initiate legal proceedings against you under Sec 19 (b) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 if corrective and necessary legal action in not taken by you to stop the illegal environmental release of Bt Brinjal and other GMOs in India, during the due notice period, followed by other corrective action to eliminate every trace of brinjal contamination