SOPA urged govt to prevent illegal imports of genetically modified (GM) soyabean.
The Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA), the oilseed’s leading trade association body, has asked the government for help in preventing illegal imports of genetically modified (GM) soyabean from entering the country.
SOPA has expressed concerns about the GM soyabean import cargo being dumped at the Mumbai port in a communication to the Union Agriculture Ministry and has requested quick action against the firms bringing the forbidden oilseeds into the country.
SOPA shared the facts of the firm allegedly importing GM soyabean in violation of the laws and regulations in a letter to Pramod Kumar Meherda, Joint Secretary, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Agriculture Ministry. The import of genetically modified (GM) products into the country are prohibited.
‘The vessel is currently unloading the cargo at the port, and we would appreciate it if you could take urgent steps to ensure that the soyabean is not genetically modified. If prompt action is not taken and such shipments are authorized, the floodgates will open for illegal imports of GM soyabean, destroying our soyabean production. The soyabean may find its way to farmers, causing irreparable damage to Indian soyabean farming,’ SOPA Executive Director D N Pathak wrote in a letter pressing the government to act.
While the import of GM soyabean is illegal, the government loosened the rules last year, allowing imports of 1.2 million tonnes of GM soyabean meal to help the poultry industry deal with skyrocketing livestock feed prices. SOPA believes that 5.4 lakh tonnes of soyabean meal and 5.09 lakh tonnes of soyabean were imported into the country during the current oil year.