The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare/Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed draft regulations for genetically modified (GM) or engineered foods, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The draft Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified Foods) Regulations 2022 propose mandatory prior approval from the regulator to manufacture, sell and import food or ingredients produced from GM organisms (GMOs), the 27 November Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report said.

“No person shall manufacture, pack, store, sell, market or otherwise distribute or import any food or food ingredient produced from GMOs, except with the prior approval of the food authority,” the draft regulations said.

Once introduced, the regulations would also apply to food ingredients produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that contained modified DNA as well as for food ingredients produced from GMOs that did not contain modified DNA but included ingredients, additives or processing aids derived from GMOs, the report said.

All food products (GMOs intended for food use and food ingredients produced from GMOs that contained modified DNA) with more than 1% GM ingredients would need to be labelled with the words “contains genetically modified organisms/ingredients derived from GMO”, the USDA report said.

The draft regulations are open for public consultation for 60 days from the post date of 18 November.