Hyderabad: A report by the State Food Laboratory (SFL) at Nacharam released on Tuesday declared that genetically engineered (GE) food samples, collected by the GHMC food control officers, were prohibited and unsafe. The labelling on a product of General Mills, called Chocolate Cheerios, proclaimed that it contained GE food ingredients, said the laboratory’s chief public analyst N Ravindra.
“The sale of GE foods is prohibited under Section 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act,” he said. The same package carried a distinct label that said the product reduced the risk of heart disease; such proclamation was against the rules of the Food Safety Act. “As the label itself reveals that it is a GE product, we need not conduct any test. We are trying to get information on the FSSAI licence number of the distributors. All stocks pertaining to GE products must be removed from the market,” Mr Ravindra said.
Following a series of reports in these columns recently, the GHMC’s food controllers conducted searches in city supermarkets and seized GE food products imported from the US and Canada. The samples were collected under the provisions of the Food Safety Act from Balaji Super Market in Banjara Hills. GHMC food safety officials served notices on two companies, Shree Agencies and SR International, involved in the distribution of GE foods in Hyderabad supermarkets.