Stop influx of illegal GM food

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Jun 19 | Updated: Jun 21 2008, 04:28am hrs
Delay in approval by the government's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) is leading to massive influx of genetically modified food into the country, the international environment group Greenpeace on Thursday said. It said that it could severely impact public health if not checked by the government.

Drawing attention of the union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss, Green peace demanded that that the health ministry must ensure that these illegal products are confiscated from the market

Without the approval of GEAC, the sale of genetically modified food is not allowed in the country. According to a Greenpeace statement, the Director General of health services, foreign Trade and GEAC, the agencies involved in regulation of import of GM food have said that no permission has been granted for the import and sale of any GM food in the country other than purified Soya oil.

Issues regarding the safety of GM products, promoted for human consumption, remain a cause for concern and many countries including belong to the European Union continue to restrict GM food from entering their country, the statement said.

The group said that GEAC has been deferring a decision on the matter for want of trivial details like absence of the representative of the health ministry in the meeting. There are no laboratories notified or testing protocols issued by the GEAC in its 19 years of service to the country to stop any dumping of GM food into the country, Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace, said.