Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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No genetically modified organisms in food items without prior nod – ET HealthWorld

Food companies cannot manufacture or sell any food products or food ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without prior approval, according to the draft regulations released by the Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI), even though industry bodies representing food companies said that GMO should be completely banned.

The regulations bring under their ambit food products that may have been made using food ingredients or processing aid derived from GMOs, even if GM content is not present in the end-product.

“No person shall manufacture, store, distribute, sell or import in the country any food or food ingredient, as the case may be, derived from Genetically Modified Organisms, except with the prior approval of the Food Authority. The provisions of this regulation are in addition to, and not in derogation, of any other rules or regulations made under the Act,” the draft regulations said.

GM food can have environmental, health and trade security implications, said industry experts.

“GMO should be completely banned and there should be no provision to give any ‘prior approval’ to any company,” said Amit Dhanuka, past president of All India Food Processors’ Association ( AIFPA). Giving examples of ill effects of GM crops he said that certain areas in the UK where GM crops were used have led to enmass death of honey bees, indicating that it may not be fit for human consumption also.

The draft also proposes labelling norms for food products that contain one per cent or more than one percent of GMO content. “All food products having individual Genetically Engineered (GE) ingredient one per cent or more shall be labelled -Contains GMO/Ingredients derived from GMO,” tit added.

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