Paving the way for other nations to introduce similar legislation and inform consumers what they’re really putting into their mouths, the labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the nation of India is now mandated by law. The country’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs declared in a June 5, 2012 notice that all GMO-containing packaged foods must be labeled by January 1, 2013 or face legal repercussions.
Each package containing GM ingredients will clearly be labeled directly on the prime real estate of the package as ‘GM’. A warning that many heads of organizations and even bodies within the Indian government are praising for its ability to inform individuals as to what they are really feeding their family.
“The labelling will basically help inform the consumer about the presence of GM content in packaged food products,” said B.N.Dixit, Director, Legal Metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs.
In the wake of crippled labeling attempts inside the United States thanks to Monsanto-backed corporate deception, such as phony campaign materials designed to deceive California’s Prop 37 GMO labeling campaign, this is an extremely bold message by India. A message that will likely be picked up by neighboring countries where citizens have been demanding GMO labeling — or even an outright ban. The move also comes after other countries like Poland already took moves to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified maize.
While the labeling declaration is certainly a victory, some Indian experts are saying that it would be much more of a victory for somewhere like the US, where around 90% of food products are pre-packaged or processed.
The opposite is true in India, where much of the food available in local markets is whole food items and raw materials. In other words, the Indian citizens still prepare meals by hand in many cases. This means that they are using non-packaged food items like produce that may not be labeled.