India exporting strictly non-GM rice to world: Ministry of Commerce & Industry
It was reacting to a news report regarding food recall in the EU linked to alleged GM rice from India
India was exporting strictly Non-GM rice to the world and there was no commercial variety of GM (Genetically Modified) rice in India, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said on Wednesday.
The commercial GM cultivation of rice is banned in India, it said, reacting to a news report regarding an instance of food recall linked to alleged GM rice from India.
"There is no question of export of GM rice from India," the ministry said in a press release.
A group of experts was investigating the matter, it noted.
Referring to the report, the ministry mentioned, "A particular incident which is reported through Rapid Alert by EU, the GMO contamination is suspected to have been found in the rice flour which was processed in EU and they themselves are not sure of the exact source of contaminant".
The broken white rice exported from India which is allegedly one of the possibilities has passed through many hands before reaching to the actual processors in EU, it pointed out.
"There is always a possibility of mixing or cross contamination at every stage," the Ministry of Commerce & Industry added.
The exporter however, has confirmed that the rice exported was Non GMO and there is hardly any possibility of cross contamination even during inland transit as the final sample was drawn at the port of loading by an independent inspection agency having the International recognition who after due to testing and verification issued Non GMO certificate before shipment, it explained.
"The cross contamination if any, could be possible while processing of the broken rice into final products," the ministry explained.
Since, there is no commercial variety of GM in India, proper testing was also done before shipment of the consignment.
"The possibility of GMO contamination due to white rice exported by India is not possible," said the ministry's press release.
According to the government, as reported in the same news item, this could be a conspiracy to malign the image of India as a reliable suppliers of quality rice to the world.
"The experts in India both from Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and Agricultural experts from IARI and other rice experts in India are however, investigating the matter but re-confirming that commercial GM variety of rice is not grown in India," it noted.