The government of India has made it very clear that they will not tolerate Monsanto's attempts to commercialize on their indigenous knowledge, a practice known as biopiracy.
India's National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a government agency, is suing Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified (GM) crops and seeds, and their collaborators, the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, for using local varieties of eggplant to develop a genetically modified version.
Quite simply, the biotech giant did not get prior approval to use the naturally occurring breeds for the purposes of genetic modification, and in so doing violated the country's Biological Diversity Act (BDA), enacted in 2002.
The case marks the first time a government has accused Monsanto of biopiracy, and the results could set an important precedent for the future of the food supply. In essence, will we continue to allow corporations like Monsanto to steal, profit from, and patent native plants without compensating the native country from which it came?
Monsanto has long been trying to establish control over the seeds of the plants that produce food for the world, with little regard for farmers' rights or even basic levels of morality. They have already patented a number of genetically altered food crops, which can only be grown with proper license and the seeds for which farmers must purchase anew each year or face legal prosecution. They have even developed terminator technology—which they hope to deploy soon.