India is exporting only non-GMO rice to the world: Government
The government has said that India is exporting strictly Non Genetically Modified Organism -GMO rice to the world. Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement clarified that there is no commercial variety of Genetically Modified- GM rice in India and in fact the commercial GM cultivation of rice is banned in the country.
It said, there is no question of export of GM rice from India. Since there is no commercial variety of GM in India, proper testing was also done before shipment of the consignment and the possibility of GMO contamination due to white rice exported by India is not possible, it added.
The clarification came regarding a news report in a section of the press regarding food recalls linked to alleged GM rice from India. The Ministry further said, as reported in the same news item this could be the conspiracy to malign the image of India as a reliable supplier of quality rice to the world.
The experts in India both from Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and Agricultural experts from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and other rice experts in India are, however, investigating the matter but re-confirming that the commercial GM variety of rice is not grown in India.
The Ministry said, a particular incident which is reported through Rapid Alert by European Union-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 Ministry added that 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.
It said, there is always a possibility of mixing or cross-contamination at every stage. 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 International recognition.
The Agency after due testing and verification issued a Non-GMO certificate before shipment. Cross-contamination if any, could be possible while processing of the broken rice into final products.