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The environment ministry has received several requests from companies seeking permission to import genetically modified (GM) feed for animals, even though the debate on whether or not to allow commercialization of GM food crops is far from settled in India.
However, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the central government’s regulator for giving clearances for field trials of GM crops and import/export of GM seeds, has deferred a decision on these requests in the absence of an expert view on the matter.
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“Besides the comments from experts, comments of department of animal husbandry and FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) may be obtained regarding the export/import of GM feed. Comments from other experts may be followed-up. Decision on the proposal was deferred,” the GM regulator noted.
Environmentalists, too, are against allowing GM food as animal feed.
“This is an issue of grave concern for us. Animals are part of our food chain and if GM feed is allowed in poultry industry, it could have adverse results. GM cotton seed that goes to animal feed has already started showing negative consequences in our cattle (like low pregnancy rates),” said Rajinder Chaudhary of the Coalition for GM-Free India, an organization of activists against GM crops.
Any ill-effects caused by GM cotton seed in animal feed are yet to be verified.
Read full, original post: Regulator defers decision on importing genetically modified animal feed