02 July 2019
By Aspire IAS
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study found the wide presence of GM ingredients in packaged food
Theme: Genetically modified food
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study found the wide presence of GM ingredients in packaged food items sold in India.
What are GM foods?
GM foods involve taking genes (DNA) from different organisms and inserting them in food crops for the purpose of enhancing its productivity or increasing its immune power or nutritional and aesthetic values. There is a concern that this ‘foreign’ DNA can lead to risks such as toxicity, allergic reactions, and nutritional and unintended impacts.
Safety of GM Foods
Safety of GM crops and products has been a matter of concern for human health. Risk assessment on a case-by-case basis is critical for a country-level decision to allow or restrict GM foods because various GMOs have different genes, which are inserted in multiple ways. Also, studies used to evaluate the risk must take into account different populations and geographies.
Safety of GM foods in India
In 2017, a Parliamentary Committee report that examined the impact of GM crops on environment and human and animal health identified huge gaps with respect to the safety of GM crops. It noted the following key issues:
Draft notification on labeling of GM foods :
Criticisms against FSSAI:
Regulatory issues in the approval process for GM processed foods: