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FSSAI Draft Regulations: Without a Prior Nod, No GMOs in Food Items

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

Dimple Gupta
FSSAI draft regulations for GMOs
FSSAI draft regulations for GMOs

According to the draft regulations released by the Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI), without prior approval, food companies cannot manufacture or sell any food products or food ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Despite that, the industry bodies representing food companies said that GMOs should be completely banned. 

Under their ambit, the regulations bring 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. 

The draft regulations state “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 prior approval of the Food Security. The provisions of this regulation are in addition to, and not in derogation, of any other rules or regulations made under the Act.” 

The industry experts “GM food can have environmental, health and trade security implications.” 

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

What are Genetically Modified Organisms? 

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an animal, plant, microbe, whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. For thousands of years now, humans have been developing methods to modify organisms, for example – cattle, corn, and even dogs have been bred selectively bred over generations to have certain desired traits. However, in the last few decades, modern advances in biotechnology have allowed scientists to directly modify the DNA of microorganisms, crops, and animals. 

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