Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified or Engineered Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2021

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Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified or Engineered Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2021

Recently the draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified or Genetically Engineered Foods) Regulations, 2021 was notified.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed new regulations under the Food Safety and Standards Act (2006).

These regulations shall apply to the following:

  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) or live modified organisms (LMOs) intended for direct use as food or for processing.
  • GMOs/GEOs/LMOs refer to living organisms that contain an innovative combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.
  • Food or processed foods that contain LMOs or GEOs or genetically modified material produced from GMOs, but do not contain these organisms.

Key Provisions of the Drafting Regulations:

  • It is mandatory to obtain prior approval from FSSAI for the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import etc. of any food or food ingredient procured from GMOs.
  • If GMOs or GEOs contain LMOs, prior approval from the Genetic Engineering Evaluation Committee would be required to obtain approval from the FSSAI.
  • If there is no GMOS, direct approval from FSSAI will be required. Specifies the qualifications for designated food laboratories to test for genetically modified (GM) foods.
  • If the genetically modified content is 1% or more, labeling standards for GM foods will be applied.

Related facts:

Earlier FSSAI had notified the draft Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Food) Regulations 2021. It includes the following key provisions:

  • Definition of plant-based food products or foods included in vegan food.
  • Use of the new Vegan Food logo to identify such products.
  • There will be no animal testing of vegan food to ensure 100% animal-free and vegan-friendly products.

Source – The Hindu

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