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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) order mandating non-GM origin and GM-free certification for import of 24 identified food crops, including apples, pineapples and wheat, and has argued that this was impeding joint efforts to increase market access for agricultural items

·         The FSSAI published an order specifying that each consignment of twenty four known food product need to be accompanied by a non-GM-origin-cum-GM-free certificate issued by competent national authority of the exporting country.

·         Regulation of GM crops In India, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)is the apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops.

·         Use of the unapproved GM variant will attract a jail term of five years and fine of Rs. one lakh under the environment Protection Act, 1986.

·         The task of regulating GMO levels in imported consumables was initially with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).

·         Its role was diluted with the enactment of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006and FSSAI was asked to take over approvals of imported goods.

·         These Rules are implemented by the Ministry of atmosphere, Forest and global climate change, Department of Biotechnology and State Governments though six competent authorities. .

·         India may be a person to the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety (CPB), however, the definition of contemporary biotechnology, as in CPB is yet to be adopted within the national laws.

·         The task of regulating GMO levels in imported consumables was initially with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the Union environment ministry.

·         Its role during this was diluted with the enactment of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and FSSAI was asked to require over approvals of imported product. sanitary and Phytosanitary measures

·         The agreement on sanitary  and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) under WTO, provides guidelines for member countries to adopt measures related to food safety and animal and plant health from various biosafety risks arising from trade.

·         These risks are usually related to pests and diseases and may come back from risks arising from additives, toxins and contaminants in food and feed.

 


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