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Doctors Ask FSSAI to Keep GM Food Out of Diet

Doctors have requested that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ensure that no genetically modified (GM) foods be supplied in the nation.

Shivani Meena
Illustration representing genetic modification
Illustration representing genetic modification

A group of doctors is opposing the move to authorize GM (genetically modified) foods as the deadline for submitting feedback on draft regulations on GM food is approaching.

"No genetically modified foods have been authorized for import or marketing in India." This de jure regulatory reality should be enforced, with fines levied on anybody selling GM foods" said Arun Gupta, a pediatrician, and public health specialist.

A total of 162 doctors from various states signed the feedback letter issued to the FSSAI. A copy was forwarded to Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya. "The regulatory instruments and methods (of sampling, inspection, and testing) must verify that no genetically modified foods are sold in India," they stated.

They requested the authority to rescind the proposed regulations and to guarantee that the regulatory regime's primary goal is to keep GM foods out of the diet. They said that the proposed standards did not allow for independent, long-term, comprehensive, multi-generational biosafety evaluation.

"They appear to be inclined to accept regulatory approvals for genetically modified foods in other countries and to allow the same in India." "Such an approach throws the core purpose of announcing any rules into question," they stated. "There is a plethora of scientific information proving the health hazards that genetically modified foods present," they said.

By clearing the way, the FSSAI would also be permitting harmful ultra-processed goods to enter the country's food chain. They claimed that the FSSAI failed to take strict and deterrent action against the selling of genetically modified foods. "Now, it is attempting to formally prepare the way for the easier admission of all types of GM foods," they stated in the message.

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