The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has made it mandatory for all food business operators to label all foods having 5% or more genetically-engineered (GE) or modified (GM) ingredients. The label must read “Contains Genetically modified organisms (GMO)/Ingredients derived from GMO.” Moreover, foods that exceed norms of sugar and fat will need to carry ‘red’ and ‘green’ labels specifying the extent to which they do so.
This is the first time that the Centre has laid down guidelines for labelling genetically modified food after contemplating a labelling system for GM foods for almost 2 years.
The draft also defines safe levels of fat, sugar and salt in processed food. Food packs would have a designated space colored RED in case the value of energy from total sugar was more than 10 per cent of the total energy (kcal) provided by the 100 g/100 ml of the product; the value of energy (kcal) from trans-fat is more than 1 per cent of the total energy (kcal) provided by the 100 g/100 ml of the product; and total fat or sodium content provided by the 100 g/100 ml of the product is more than certain specified threshold values.
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