at a recent national consultation, the Union ministry of environment and forest's ( mef) draft bill proposing a legislation to check the piracy of Indian medicinal plants and microbes, was criticised by several experts. The latter found the bill's formulation to be inappropriate. While the ministry's draft bill seeks to retain all power and control with State agencies, it makes no mention of involving local communities, the "true guardians" of natural resources in our country, said Suman Sahai of the group Gene Campaign. Following this, the mef has constituted two committees, to frame a comprehensive legislation. Its draft outlines prospective research pacts, commercial agreements, and terms of biological prospecting by corporate houses.