India may import GM oilseeds
India may import genetically modified oilseeds
Reuters, Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Mumbai, January 18: India, the world's largest importer of edible oils, may allow imports of genetically modified (GMO) oilseeds to meet a domestic shortfall, the country's food minister said on Tuesday.
But any decision on this would be taken keeping in mind the interests of local farmers, Sharad Pawar told an international oilseeds conference.
The country of more than one billion people, which has the world's fourth-largest vegetable oil and oilseeds economy, does not allow imports of GMO seeds. It also imposes a 30-percent duty on non-GMO seeds, which traders say is too high and not viable.
"In order to overcome the shortage of oilseeds and
edible oils, there is a need to encourage imports of high oil content oilseeds and to import genetically modified oilseeds, while protecting the interests of Indian farmers," Pawar said.