March 31, 2023

WHY IN THE NEWS?

The Union Government of India has decided to allow the import of genetically modified (GM) soymeal.

Background:

  • Soymeal is the protein-rich solid left after the oil is extracted from the bean. It is used as a raw material for poultry feed.
  • Since the last few months, domestic prices of soymeal have risen from Rs 40/kg to Rs 110/kg.
  • As a result, the production cost for poultry farmers has increased, which was already impacted by the Covid-19 and Avian Influenza.
  • Hence, due to this, the poultry industry has been asking the government to import soy meal to overcome domestic shortages and high prices. But the import was not being allowed due to Government’s regulation regarding genetically modified ingredients.

Why has the Government allowed the import of Soymeal?

  • The import of genetically modified organisms and living modified organisms is restricted in India.
  • However, soya de-oiled cake or meals do not fall under these categories. It falls under the non-living organism category.
  • Hence, on this basis, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change ruled that the import of Soymeal would not require permission from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and has allowed the import of Soymeal.
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