Both Mon 863 and NK 603 are Monsanto's genetically modified
corn varieties. Mon 863 has a bacterial gene to give pest
tolerance, while NK 603 has a bacterial gene for herbicide
tolerance. An Independent analysis last year, done by the Committee
for Independent Research and Information On Genetic Engineering
[Crii-Gen] lead by Prof Gilles Eric Seralini, a member of the
French National Committee For Risk Assessment of GMOs had concluded
that both Mon 863 and NK 603 pose serious health impacts . The
debate that ensued led many countries in Europe including France
and Romania to stop the cultivation of GM corn. None of these
varieties have been approved in India for human consumption.
"Though India has a law prohibiting the sale of any genetically
modified food products with out the permission of Genetic
Engineering Approval Committee , the presence of these products
in the supermarket shelves proves that the regulatory system is in
shambles. India seems to have become a dumping ground for
genetically modified products that have been rejected due to their
risk to health elsewhere," said Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner,
Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India.
Greenpeace had received RTI responses from the Director General
of Health services, Director General of Foreign Trade and the
Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the three agencies involved
in regulation of import of Genetically Modified food in the
country, declaring that no permission has been granted for the
import and sale of any Genetically modified Food in India other
than purified Soya oil .
"This is a serious violation of people's right to safe food as
consumers are being kept ignorant of the presence of potentially
dangerous GM ingredients in the food products. There is growing
scientific evidence on the health hazards of GM foods across the
world and it cannot be ignored any more. The mandate of keeping
hazardous food out of the country should be the duty of the Health
Ministry and it should take immediate steps to stop the illegal
entry of these foods," said Dr Mira Shiva, of the Initiative for
Health, Equity and Society.
Greenpeace is demanding that the Health ministry take notice of
this serious violation and threat to human health and constitute
the Food Safety and Standards Authority at the earliest.
In the meanwhile,
1. Effect an immediate confiscation of these products from the
market, keeping in mind their potential health risk.
2. All imported food products should be embargoed and tested for
any GM contamination and GM products found should be rejected.
For further information, contact
Jayashree Nandi- Greenpeace India Communications, +91-9343868011,
Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, +91-9845650032,
Notes to Editor
 Greenpeace had picked up 3 random products containing corn from Le Marche, a super market in Vasant Vihar in January this year. The products were sent to an independent laboratory for DNA analysis for confirmation of the presence of GM ingredients. The PCR analysis had confirmed the presence of the GM ingredients in the corn chips.
The test results are available with Greenpeace and can be shared on request.
 The study on Mon 863 was published in the American journal, Archives of Environmental contamination and toxicology dated May 2007, and is available on line http://www.springerlink.com/content/02648wu132m07804/?p=d84fa910926d4c7492a585a386b28812&pi=18
 Under the Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro Organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells (1989), Rule 7 (1) states "No person shall import, export, transport, manufacture, process, use or sell any hazardous micro organisms, genetically engineered organisms/substances or cells except with the approval of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee." Rule 11 states: "Foodstuff, ingredients in food stuffs and additives including processing and containing or consisting of genetically engineered organisms or cells, shall not be produced, sold, imported or used except with the approval of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee."
 The RTI responses have been annexured.