India: GM Packaged Foods Will Be Labeled

India: GM Packaged Foods Will Be Labeled | indian-store | Agriculture & Farming GMOs Natural Health News Articles World News
Informed choice: It will help consumers make a choice as the urban markets in the country are flooded with food products derived and processed in countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, where a majority of GM crops are cultivated

Consumer Affairs Ministry notification 19 covers biscuits, bread, cereals

New Delhi, India: Starting Tuesday, consumers will know whether the packaged foods they are buying contains any genetically modified (GM) organism, even as the food processing industry wants more clarity.

A Gazette Notification issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution mandates packaged food producers to disclose GM ingredients, if used any, in their product. The notification will come into effect from January 1, 2013, officials at the Food and Consumers Affairs Ministry said.

“Every package containing the genetically modified food shall bear at top of its principal display panel the words ‘GM’,” the notification under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (2 {+n} {+d} Amendment) Rules 2012 said. Such packaged commodity rules are applicable to 19 products including biscuits, breads, cereals and pulses among others.

“The labelling will basically help inform the consumer about the presence of GM content in packaged food products,” said B.N.Dixit, Director, Legal Metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs.

It will help consumers make a choice as the urban markets in the country are flooded with food products derived and processed in countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, where a majority of GM crops are cultivated. India is still debating the regulation of GM crops and the only crop allowed to commercialise so far is Bt cotton.

However, the implementation of such GM food labelling would be done by the Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI), under the Ministry of Health. The FSSAI is yet to announce any rules for implementing the labelling exercise.

The processed food sector wants the Government to withdraw the notification till such time the implementation rules are formed by the FSSAI. “The Government should withdraw the regulation till the rules are formulated by FSSAI,” industry sources said.

“Though the Government’s intention to label GM products is good, there is lack of clarity on the implementation part of it. The notification is too sketchy and does not mean anything,” said Rajesh Krishnan, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, GreenPeace. The labelling notification does not specify the threshold limits nor does it talk of traceability or the liability aspects.

GreenPeace and other agencies such as Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) want the Government to make the GM labelling rules more stringent.

In a letter to Food Minister, K. V. Thomas, the CCC — the apex body of Indian consumer organisations that represents some 75 outfits — said setting a minimum threshold will strengthen the labelling initiative.

Besides, the notification should also make the role of the agencies involved in monitoring and regulation, clear and ensure there is strict punitive action in case of any violation, it said. Further, CCC wants liability measures to be explicitly mentioned in the labelling rules.

Source: thehindubusinessline.com

[mailpoet_form id="1"]

About The Author

Wendy Blanks is an independent researcher, journalist and activist. She is the Founder of TruWire Productions, LLC., and the Owner/Chief Editor for The Sleuth Journal. She has done investigative research in multiple fields and has a passion for sharing true news on various topics such as government corruption, natural health, human rights, globalism and other important issues that plague our society. Thankfully, we live in the age of information and sharing knowledge has become easier than ever. She has a deep desire to expose the truth in propagated information that is spewed from corporate/mainstream media. True journalism has been dead for some time and it is her goal to revive it. The Sleuth Journal streamlines groups of like-minded individuals and organizations to create a massive knowledge base for a ‘conscious awakening’ of what is really going on in today’s oligarchy pyramid that we call ‘society’. So many people are zombies by media, television and other means of mass brainwashing and we need to reverse the effects and give people back their minds, and in return, their power and will to change and challenge the system. Like The Sleuth Journal on Facebook. Follow The Sleuth Journal on Twitter. Join The Sleuth Journal group on Linkedin. Be sure to visit Drone Patrol to view and report drone sightings.

Related posts