Government of India Declares That All Genetically Modified Foods Be Labeled

June 19, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

April McCarthy
Prevent Disease

Can we give a thumbs up to the ministry of consumer affairs in India? They have issued a gazette notification early this month indicating that every food package containing genetically modified food shall bear at the top of its principal display panel, the words ‘GM.’

Indian consumers will soon have something that most of the world has been urging their governments for a long time…the opportunity to know whether the packaged food that they are buying contains genetically modified organisms.

The second most populous country in the world will be little more empowered and can decide whether they would like to consume genetically modified foods or not, with later preferable dominating most decisions taken by consumers.

Greenpeace India, welcomed this step by the government but also criticized officials suggesting that it would hardly make an impact. “While labeling does give the consumer a chance to avoid genetically modified food in the market, what our government seems to forget is that it is impractical here as more than 90% of our food is unprocessed and non-packaged and forms a chunk of the unorganized sector,” said sustainable agriculture campaigner, Greenpeace, Shivani Shah.

The gazette notification also lacks clarity on the threshold for the presence of GM ingredients. It mentions no mechanisms on how this will this be monitored, and whether this is applicable to both primary and processed foods.

The GM food debate intensified in India in 2010 when Bt Brinjal was approved for commercial release by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC). Massive public outcry against the proposal of commercial release led the then environment minister, Jairam Ramesh to hold public meetings across the country. But the overwhelming response seemed to be of restraint and fear.

Following the various public consultations attended by around 8000 people, on February 8, 2010 Ramesh announced a moratorium on the release of the Bt brinjal. Ramesh also said the GEAC, which had recommended approval of Bt brinjal last October, would soon have a name change – with ‘approvals’ changed to ‘appraisal.’ The idea was to garner more trust in the GEAC.

Interestingly, a similar labeling debate is brewing in US too. The Guardian recently reported that last month, nearly one million signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout California calling for a referendum on the labeling of genetically engineered foods. If the measure, “The right to know genetically engineered food act”, which will be on the ballot in November, passes, California will become the first US state to require that GM foods be labeled on the package.

In US, around 70% of packaged food products contain traces of GM crops because ingredients like corn, soya and canola oil are genetically modified. But in Europe, only 5% food sold contains GM traces. Europe also has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy that bans any imported food from containing even traces of GM substances.

‘Extra labeling only confuses the consumer,’ a biotech spokesman said.That the Food and Drug Administration is opposed to labeling foods that are genetically modified is no surprise anymore, but a report in theWashington Post almost two years ago indicated the FDA won’t even allow food producers to label their foods as being free of genetic modification.

That may all be changing. Last month, nearly 1m signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout California calling for a referendum on the labeling of genetically engineered foods. If the measure, “The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, which will be on the ballot in November, passes, California will become the first state in the nation to require that GM foods be labeled as such on the package.

This is not the first time that the issue has come up in California. Several labeling laws have been drafted there, but none has made it out of legislative committee. Lawmakers in states like Vermont and Connecticut have also proposed labeling legislation, which has gone nowhere in the face of stiff industry opposition. And the US Congress has likewise seen sporadic, unsuccessful attempts to mandate GM food labeling since 1999.

There are many reasons for the doubts and debates over consuming GM food. One of the main reasons are the potential health impacts. While a section of scientists claim that the side effects, if any are very mild, the World Health Organization (WHO) and many other health experts have acknowledged that there are possibilities of serious allergies and other diseases.

There are also NO independent studies that validate the long-term safety or health risks associated with consuming GM foods.

Another issue that has failed to restore the trust of people in GM foods is that most of these GM crop varieties have been developed by multinational seed giants and tested for safety by them. The GM seeds usually cost higher than the traditional varieties as they claim various qualities like high-yields, pest resistance, drought resistance and many others.

Many people are also not comfortable with the idea that their ‘food’ is developed, owned and patented by a multinational company.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Activism, Activism Works, Agriculture, Business, Earth, Food, Governance, Money, Society

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. brian says:

    What a progressive country! They need to outright ban them, but over there the word is spreading very fast the damage this ‘food’ does. They are also dumping cell towers because they are smart enough to know the effects of them, make no mistake the 2 are linked as the 2 biggest disease makers of our time (which means 2 biggest profit makers) of our time
    http://bcfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/mercury-microwaves-monsanto-mutations-money/

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 13 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?

Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?













Brandon Baker, Eco Watch
Waking Times

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, … More

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed

7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

From birth, virtually all of us have been brainwashed through various outlets that encourage materialism, ego, subservience, control and conformity. But where do the origins of mind control begin and what can we do about it?

1. Religion

As children, the brainwashing begins … More

April 9, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More

Activism Works

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken

American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

You may be aware that bees are dying in large numbers across the globe, courtesy of the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment. But did you know that the monarch butterfly is also becoming endangered, and for the same reason?

As reported by the New More

March 22, 2014 | By | Reply More