Is Pepsi dumping GM food in India?
Tests commissioned by international NGO Greenpeace have shown that Pepsico’s Doritos Corn Chips sold through a supermarket in Delhi contained Genetically Modified Mon 863 and NK 603 variety corn ingredients. These two varieties are Monsanto’s genetically modified corn products. An independent laboratory based in Germany conducted the tests.
Mon 863 has a bacterial gene to give pest tolerance, while NK 603 has a bacterial gene for herbicide tolerance. An independent analysis led by the French National Committee For Risk Assessment of GMOs had found both Mon 863 and NK 603 posing serious health concerns.
Consequently, many countries of the European Union stopped the cultivation of GM corn. The human consumption of these varieties is not approved in India till date. The Indian government enacted a strong Food Safety Act in 2006, but the health ministry is still to notify and implement it.
All importers are statutorily required to label the products containing any GM content and get prior approval from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of the environment ministry. However, the presence of these products in the supermarket shelves proves that India has become a dumping ground for genetically modified products which have been rejected by other countries because of their risk to health.