New Delhi, March 10 -- Concerned over any definitive guidelines around import of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) made from genetically modified (GM) corn in the US, India's GM food regulator has formed a sub-committee to prepare guidelines on the subject.
The issue was discussed at a meeting held on 13 January of the genetic engineering appraisal committee (GEAC) that comes under the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).
"The committee deliberated on the issue related to import of DDGS made from GM corn from the US and noted that similar applications have been considered positively by several countries in the Asia-Pacific region also," said the minutes of GEAC's meeting that were reviewed by Mint.
However, the GEAC noted that there are no defined guidelines in India on the subject and recommended to constitute a sub-committee to "prepare a draft guideline with a prescribed application format for seeking requisite information from the applicant", while they seek permission from GEAC for import.
"The sub-committee was suggested to submit its report before end of March 2017," said the minutes.
GEAC co-chair K. Veluthambi, member secretary of the review committee on genetic manipulation (RCGM), joint secretary (seeds) or his nominee from the Union agriculture ministry, a representative from the department of animal husbandry, dairy & fisheries and a representative from MoEFCC were made part of the sub-committee.
Most ethanol plants in the US are dry-grind facilities that use starch from corn to produce ethanol. The remainder of the corn kernel is used to produce a variety of wet and dry distillers grainsco-products including DDGS, which is considered an excellent ingredient for use in animal feeds.
DDGS is touted to have high energy, mid-protein and high digestible phosphorus content which makes it an attractive proposition against traditional and expensive options like corn or soybean meal.
Export of DDGS from the US has also seen a huge jump in the last 10 years. According to estimates, from 1 million tonnes in 2006 it has reached to more than 11 million tonnes across 40 countries in 2014.
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