‘GM-contaminated’ rice sold by Maharashtra firm

‘GM-contaminated’ rice sold by Maharashtra firm

Who is the source of exporter?

  • The Centre has identified a Maharashtra-based exporter as the source of the broken rice flagged in Europe as contaminated with genetic modifications (GM) earlier this year.

Who has certified non-GMO certification?

  • It added that the 500-tonne consignment was given a non-GMO certification by an independent agency (Bureau Veritas (India) Private Limited).

Whether India produces GM rice?

  • Government reiterating that GM rice is not grown commercially in India.

The steps taken by Indian Government

  • IARI Director said that the European Commission must share details of specific genetic markers found in the consignment, so that it could be tracked to ascertain if there were any linkages to any of the approved field trials of GM rice in India.
  • Indian government constituted a commission, which includes experts both from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee [GEAC] and agricultural experts from the IARI and other rice experts to investigate the matter.

What Indian government says?

  • The GMO contamination is suspected to have been found in rice flour which was processed in the EU, and they themselves are not sure of the exact source of the contaminant. The broken white rice exported from India, which is allegedly one of the possibilities, has passed through many hands before reaching the actual processors in the EU.
  • The Ministry suggested that cross contamination could have taken place while the broken rice was being processed into final products in Europe.
  • Indian govt. says that hardly any possibility of cross contamination even during inland transit, final sample was drawn at the port of loading by an independent inspection agency (Bureau Veritas (India) Private Limited) having international recognition which, after due testing and verification, issued a Non-GMO certificate before shipment.
  • The European Commission’s contamination alert prompted the recall of tonnes of confectionery items and baked goods throughout Europe this summer, and provoked concerns that India’s ₹65,000 crore worth of annual rice exports could be hurt by the allegations.