1. Agriculture World

Farmers’ Body Opposes to FSSAI’s Draft Regulations on GMO

Some of India's trading partners, particularly the United States, have expressed concern about the FSSAI order requiring non-GM origin and GM-free certification for the import of 24 food crops, including apples, pineapples, and wheat, claiming that it is impeding joint efforts to increase market access for agricultural products.

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture of GM Tomatoes
Picture of GM Tomatoes

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has objected to the FSSAI's proposed draft regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Engineered Food and has asked that they be withdrawn, claiming that it is yet another attempt by the body to import "unsafe and undesirable" GM food into India.

"GMOs can get in through backdoors due to lax controls." In a statement to the FSSAI this week, BKU stated, "Basing decisions in India on approvals given overseas is a complete mockery of the regulator's role to establish regulation as per our own needs and circumstances."

FSSAI’s Draft Regulation

In November 2021, the FSSAI published draft regulations proposing that food items or food ingredients derived from GMOs be sold in the country only after receiving prior clearance. It outlined the process for obtaining prior permission, as well as safety evaluation and labeling requirements. It outlined the standards that labs must follow when evaluating GM foods.

Stakeholder feedback on the proposed suggestions was solicited by the FSSAI. India currently prohibits the import of genetically modified foods.

Some of India's trading partners, particularly the United States, have expressed concern about the FSSAI order requiring non-GM origin and GM-free certification for the import of 24 food crops, including apples, pineapples, and wheat, claiming that it is impeding joint efforts to increase market access for agricultural products.

The issue was discussed during the India-US Trade Policy Forum in New Delhi in November 2021, and it was decided that it will be looked into further.

BKU dismissed the FSSAI draft, claiming that the agency was pushing to authorize GMO despite farmer unions, other citizen organizations, and state governments ensuring that no GM crops are allowed to be produced in India and that unsafe field trials are not allowed.

It also criticized the plan for failing to include measures for independent, long-term GMO impact research.

"No market surveillance measures have been proposed," the note continued, "and it is unclear who will be making decisions and with whose interests in mind."

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters