Guidelines for import of animal feed derived from GM maize ready

The residue of grain remaining after manufacture of ethanol from GM maize is the recommended alternative to traditional poultry feed.   | Photo Credit: P_V_SIVAKUMAR

A subcommittee constituted by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) will be submitting the guidelines for import of Dried Distillers’ Grains with Solubles (DDGS), which is derived out of Genetically Modified (GM) maize and used as animal feed next week.

Lalitha Gowda, chairperson of the subcommittee and retired scientist from the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysuru, told The Hindu that the subcommittee has held three meetings and has finalised the guidelines for import of DDGS. “The final meeting was also held and the guidelines will be submitted next week,” she said.

The panel was constituted by the GEAC, which is under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Several applications are pending before the government for permission to import DDGS, which is seen as an answer to the growing deficiency of feed for poultry and other livestock, besides fish, in the country.

“GM maize is used to manufacture ethanol in countries like the U.S. The residue of grain left over after manufacture of ethanol is DDGS, which is used as animal feed,” she said.

Dr. Gowda said she does not know whether the Union Commerce Ministry will accord permission for import of DDGS. “We are only formulating the guidelines for its import,” she said.

The guidelines for import of DDGS assume significance in the light of poultry industry reeling under a severe shortage of maize to feed their broilers. Drought and pest attack had drastically brought down maize yield across the country.

DDGS is believed to be not only a cheaper option than traditional feeds such as maize and soya, but also has good nutrient value with high energy.

With non-genetically modified (Non GM) maize not immediately available, the poultry industry has requested the authorities to import GM maize.

India has already permitted import of chicken from the U.S., where the birds are fed on GM maize and soya, after ruling to the effect at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). For this reason, the poultry industry in Karnataka is questioning how different it is to allow import of GM maize when the country has already permitted import of U.S. chicken bred on GM maize and soya.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 5:38:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/guidelines-for-import-of-animal-feed-derived-from-gm-maize-ready/article29310705.ece

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