Authorities make organic certification difficult, but are lax on GM food
OVER THE past two years, FSSAI has taken feeble steps to regulate GM and organic food. In December 2017, it finalised rules for labelling and certification of organic food and introduced the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017. In April 2018, it issued the draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018, on labelling GM food for comments. But it seems the authority wants to promote GM food, whose safety to health and environment is a matter of concern. From July 1, a farmer has to shell out anywhere between `15,000 and `50,000 a year, approach a third party certification agency, and wait for one to three years to obtain an organic certificate. Those who cannot afford to pay for the third-party certification, will have to form a group under the Union government’s Participatory Guarantee System of organic certification, which has huge implementation gaps. On the contrary, the proposed regulations for GM food are so lax that authorities will have to depend on the self-declaration by the industry.