India Intelligence Report

Govt to Allow GM Soya Oil Import


Ministry of Environment & Forests said that it intends to allow the import of genetically modified (GM) Soya oil into India if it meets certification criteria to be defined by the Government. It is not known if the Government will require the importing companies to label their products so consumers can make an educated decision on buying GM products. 

In India, 40% of all cooking oil use Soya oil. Consumers will not know about GM ingredients if downstream cooking oil manufacturers are not required to label their products as such. It is not known why the Ministry is in a hurry to approve this sort of import because not a single importer has sought clearance from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) to import Soya Bean oil. Further major cooking oil manufacturers are worried about the nature and quality of what they may get as an ingredient. However, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, run by Sharad Pawar was seen as the instigator of such a clearance. 


Pawar’s Ministry is already embroiled in several controversies including untimely import of wheat, compromising nation’s health with his relaxed norms for the poultry industry, encouraging unbridled sugar production , and decision to allow export of sugar to benefit few Mills in Maharashtra.

The main beneficiaries of this policy will be Cargill, Bunge, Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya, Noble, and AWB. Some analysts privately say that this approval may also indirectly benefit farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Pawar comes from Maharashtra.