How did India get inundated with GM foods?
Published: October 4, 2018
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
The discovery was bad, surprising news: GMOs have made significant inroads into infant food, edible oil, and packaged food snacks, despite sale and import of GM foods being illegal in India.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found that 32 percent of 65 tested food samples contained GMOs—35 of them were imports, with 80 percent of imports testing positive. “We have found the laws are not the problem—the regulatory agencies are,” said CSE’s Sunita Narain.
The concern is safety of consuming GMOs and lack of labeling to inform the public.
Five samples of cottonseed oil—derived from Bt cotton, a GM staple crop in India—tested positive. No processed food sample made in India was GMO positive except edible oil. Two baby food samples from U.S.’ Abbott Laboratories, designed for lactose-intolerant and allergic infants, contain GMOs.
Regulations exist in India prohibiting import, use, or sale of GMOs and mandatory labeling—FSSAI mandates a 5 percent threshold, but allows companies to ‘self-declare’ their compliance. Organic labeling rules are strict, but GMOs essentially get exempted. CSE recommends a 1 percent threshold and penalties for not labeling.
Some imports from large retailers even suggest “GMO-free” when they are not.
Source: Centre for Science and Environment
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