Genetically Modified Food: A Critique of the Existing Regulatory Framework in India

  • Dolly Gupta
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  • Dolly Gupta

    Advocate at Gauhati High Court, India.

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In the field of agriculture, biotechnology has played a key role in increasing the crop productivity, reducing the cost of production and decreasing the adverse effect on the environment. Genetically modified crops are chosen for a number of reasons. The crops are altered to make them pest-resistant, thereby reducing the adverse effect on environment and human health. Further, it has reduced vulnerability of the crops to various environmental stresses; increased its nutritional quality, taste, texture and appearance; reduced the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other agrochemicals and increased resistance of crops to insects. However, there are several risks associated with the use of genetic engineering and the release of genetically modified plants in to the environment. It may have adverse effect on biodiversity as the nature of interaction with other organisms cannot be anticipated. It poses certain risks and apprehensions, both known and unknown. The introduction of genetically modified organisms in the ecosystem can impact the diversity of species. It may pose a risk to human health. Potential negative effects of genetically modified organisms on the ecosystem are contested but cause considerable concern. They have the ability to reproduce, transfer its characteristics, mutate in response to environmental influences, contaminate the biodiversity, alter the composition of species and even threaten the extinction of various species. There is a need for judicious harnessing of genetic modification technologies. Its impact on the environment is inadequately understood. In the absence of effective legislation and enforcement of biosafety regulations, the release of genetically modified crops is a poorly defined risk, and this is likely to continue. The paper therefore aims to provide a brief overview of the existing regulatory framework in India pertaining to genetically modified food and to critically analyse the same with a view to identify the lacunae under it.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, Page 2139 - 2153


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