India: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   IN2021-0121

India remains undecided on genetically engineered (GE) crops, despite its regulatory authorities clearing on the environmental release of GE eggplant and mustard events. Bt cotton (Bacillus thuringiensis) is the only biotech crop approved for commercial cultivation. Soy and canola oils derived from select GE soy and canola events and some food ingredients from microbial biotechnology are approved for import. On August 24, 2021, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry authorized the precedent setting import of 1.2 million metric tons of crushed and de-oiled soy cakes (i.e., soybean meal) derived from GE soybean through October 31, 2021 (Notification 20/2015-2020). India is dragging its feet in clarifying that crushed de-oiled soy cakes, an older industry term, is equivalent to soybean meal. This development establishes something of a precedent for non-LMO imports, opening the possibility of market access for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), that are also derived from a GE crop (i.e., corn).

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