Use GMO and GMO derived products
To specify the requirements concerning use of GMO crops, GMO Products, inputs containing GMO‘s and other GMO derived ingredients/processing aids/products used in crop production, animal husbandry or processing according to NPOP, Govt. of India and NOP.
Genetic Engineering, an artificial method of genetic manipulation of a plant, animal or microbe to achieve desired properties or products has been considered as an approach against natural processes, sustainability and food safety and thus prohibited in Organic agriculture.
The prohibition applies to both genetically engineered plants, animals, microorganisms and products of genetically engineered organisms such as enzymes and amino acids, irrespective of whether, or not they are detectable in the final product (e.g. processing aids).
Normative framework :
3.2.1 Choice of Crops and Varieties
The use of genetically engineered seeds, pollen, transgenic plants or plant material is not allowed.
8.5. Analysis and Residue Testing:
The Inspection and Certification Agencies shall have documented policies and procedures on residue testing, genetic testing and other analysis.
3. c) In organic food products the following categories of additives and processing aids are not allowed: -
Additives or processing aids produced by means of genetic engineering
GMO (NPOP): A plant, animal, microbe or their derivatives that are transformed through genetic engineering (by adding gene deletion, doubling, introduction of a foreign gene, and changing gene position).
More specific definition of GMO is given by IFOAM as below.
GMO is a plant, animal, or microorganism that is transformed by genetic engineering as described below.
Genetic engineering is a set of techniques from molecular biology (such as recombinant DNA, cell fusion, micro and macro injection, encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling etc.) by which the genetic material of plants, animals, micro-organisms, cells and other biological units are altered in ways or with results that could not be obtained by methods of natural mating and reproduction or natural recombination. (IFOAM-2002).
Normal breeding techniques such as conjugation, transduction and natural hybridization etc are not genetic engineering.
A product that is the result of Genetic Engineering is called a “product of Genetic engineering” or a “derivative of GMOs” depending on the circumstances.
- Seeds and planting materials, animals and microorganisms used in certified organic farming operations should not be GMO‘. Where the operator needs to use conventional seeds/planting material/animals/microbes, a declaration (along with supporting information) from the supplier should be provided. ADITI may relax this requirement in case of crops/animals/microbes where there is no risk (no GMO‘s developed/available).
- The ingredients (allowed non organic and others), processing aids used in manufacturing organic products should be free from GMO‘s or GMO derived products. The operators should seek confirmation from their manufacturer/suppliers (along with supporting information) and provide the same to ADITI.
- ADITI will seek a self-declaration from the operator that the brought in inputs like compost and compost ingredients (biomass/plant or animal material) is reasonably free from GMOs.
- ADITI will also require reasonably good, supporting information in the form of relevant manufacturing details (like flow chart), inspection and report and certificates, laboratory analysis reports etc along with the declaration in case of high-risk non-organic ingredients, additives and processing aids.
- For other commercial inputs ADITI requires approval certificates for use in Organic farming (from an accredited certification body).
- Operators also should take all reasonable steps to avoid chance of genetic contamination e.g. Cross pollination and contamination through other means in the certified operations.
- GMO contamination of certified organic products will be dealt on a case-to-case basis. In case of insignificant (below detectable levels) of genetic contamination under situations beyond the control of operator, the products may lose the certification but the whole operation may not be de certified. Tolerance levels once set by the standards will be adopted to deal with issue later.
- ADITI will compile and publish a list of plants, animals and microbes, which have been approved for cultivation/husbandry/use in agriculture in the country periodically. Any other relevant information will also be passed on to the operators as soon as ADITI receives the same.
- Other general information available about GMO crops like the crops on trial, isolation distances to avoid genetic contamination, approved labs for analysis etc. will also be shared with the operators.
- ADITI will have arrangements for testing of GMO‘s with an accredited lab.