Regulatory vacuum in dealing with the transgenic food: FSSAI

Image Source: Free Press

Aug 14, 2018

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Chief Executive Pawan Kumar Agarwal Genetically Modified (GM) food is a “contentious issue” and there is a regulatory vacuum in dealing with the transgenic food. The concept is taking time since the GM issue is still evolving and the regulator is working on regulations and the draft will be ready soon. It is expected that this will clear uncertainty over the GM food,

This concern on GM food comes after the havoc created by recent laboratory findings by the non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which showed as many as 21 of the randomly picked 65 food products from different retail outlets in the country were found GM-positive.

In fact FSSAI is considering labelling food that has GM ingredients of 5 per cent or more. And the “procedural regulations” would consider risk assessment of the GM food items to be introduced for public consumption, their scientific examination and provisions of appeal for companies against rejection of their products.

It is a fact that FSSAI has not taken correct action against adulteration and safety enforcement due to lack of manpower. Man power is a real issue in India as the enforcement is not happening at the level it should be and there is an urgent need to make it stronger. But the FSSAI does not have its own enforcement staff.

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