Increase in gestation period for abortion stipulated under MTP Act

Health and Family Welfare

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2477 TO BE ANSWERED ON 10TH DECEMBER, 2019 ILLEGAL SALE OF GM FOODS 2477. DR. AMAR PATNAIK: Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state: (a) whether Government is aware of labelled genetically modified (GM) foods being sold illegally in India; (b) if so, action taken by Government on the matter and the details thereof; and (c) whether Government is aware of any reports or studies that indicate the availability of GM foods in the Indian market? ANSWER THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE (SHRI ASHWINI KUMAR CHOUBEY) (a) to (c): The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has informed that they had received a communication from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) dated 26.07.2018 informing about the results of studies conducted by CSE on processed foods for presence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In this connection, MoEFCC has further informed CSE that following the setting up of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in 2006, considering that Section 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 covers activities related to GM Foods, a notification was issued under Rules 1989 in 2007 exempting GM processed food, ingredients, additives and processing aids from the purview of Rule 11 of the Rules, 1989. Four laboratories (namely Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Bureau of Plant Generic Resources, New Delhi; Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali; Export Inspection Agency, Kochi, Guntur) have been strengthened by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to detect the presence or absence of GMOs, and have been notified as National Referral Facilities by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare under Seed Act, 1966. Further, report of labeled Genetically Modified (GM) food being sold in India came to the notice of FSSAI through a survey report titled ‘qPCR-based Detection of Genetically Modified Processed Foods in India’ by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). On receipt of survey report, FSSAI issued notices in the month of August, 2018 to the concerned Food Business Operators to provide their comments on the findings of the said report. In response to the notices, such Food Business Operators replied that their products did not contain any GM ingredients and supported their claim with National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited lab reports.