FSSAI, has notified FBOs that for imported food consignment, non-GM origin-cum- GM free attestation on phytosanitary or health certificate for each consignment is also acceptable, given all the necessary information about the constituents are included in the certificate.
This notification comes as reiteration after the procurement of non-GM or GM-free certification was done by FSSAI for all the imported products. Previously it has allowed 1% tolerance limit for adventitious presence of GMO in imported food after issuing a directive asking the imported consignment of food crops to accompany GM-free certification.
FSSAI also notified that non-GMO or GM free certification is needed with attestation by competent state authorities including all the required information in prescribed limits. Digital signatures on the subject matter are also allowed.
It is pertinent to mention here that FSSAI has made it mandatory for the requirement of non-GM-cum-GM free certificate to consignments, which are dispatched from exporting country on or after March 1, 2021.
Last year, in August, the FSSAI had listed 24 crops imported in India to mandatorily declare ‘non-GM-cum-GM free’ certificate from January 1, 2021. In September, 2020, the order was notified with WTO for comments. And subsequently, the date for implementation was pushed to March 1, 2021.
The crops include Alfalfa, Apple, Argentina Canola, Bean, Chicory, Cowpea, Egg Plant, Flax Seed, Maize, Melon, Papaya, Pineapple, Plum, Polish Canola, Potato, Rice, Safflower, Soybean, Squash, Sugar Beet, Sugarcane, Sweet Pepper, Tomato, and Wheat.
An NGO, has also seeked answer from the authority and put into notice that 1% limit of GMO in imported product is also not acceptable in India. This came as an ability edge of Indian laboratories to detect upto 0.01 percent presence of GMO and thereby putting the cap to 0.01%.
For the list of certificates allowed, do visit FSSAI website here www.fssai.org.