GMO Labeling Signed into Law in India

The new year started in India with a new law. From January 1, 2013 all packaged foods containing any genetically modified (GM) organisms must be labeled as such.

The decision was made because so many food products in India are either derived from, or processed in, countries where a large majority of the crops cultivated are genetically modified (GMOs), including the USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil.
India itself is still in the throes of debating the regulation of GM crops and so far, the only crop that has been planted and commercialized in India is Bt cotton.
To ensure that the public has a clear choice, starting on January 1, any products with genetically modified content must be clearly labeled.
A Gazette Notification was issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution which mandates packaged food producers to disclose GM ingredients, if any, in a label on their product.
A statement by B.N. Dixit, Director of Legal Metrology of the Department of Consumer affairs reads as follows:
“Every package containing the genetically modified food shall bear at top of its principal display panel the words ‘GM’,” under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (2 {+n} {+d} Amendment) Rules 2012.
These commodity rules apply to 19 products including biscuits, breads, cereals and pulses among others.

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