Northwest Horticultural Council
India Delays Implementation of GM-Free Certification Rule for Apples until March 1, 2021
Current Situation: India has informed the U.S. Government that it has changed implementation of its order requiring a GM- (genetically modified) free certificate accompanying all apple imports into India from an arrive-by date of March 1, 2021 to a ship by date of March 1, 2021. Certification will be required of all apple shipments departing the U.S. after March 1, 2021.
The NHC continues working with the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove apples from India’s requirement for GM-free certification and avoid a market closure resulting from the FSSAI order.
The original order may be found here.
Documentation of the December 2020 delay of the rule to March 1, 2021 may be found here.
Documentation of the India’s current FSSAI clarification may be found here.
On August 21, 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order requiring shipments of apples (and other food products) to include a GM-free certificate issued by a “Competent National Authority,” effective shipment arrival on or after January 1, 2021.
It is unclear why India has proposed this order and what concerns are being addressed by it. FSSAI does not address any safety-related issues nor do they offer any scientific justification for requiring non-GM certification.
No apple shipped to India from the Pacific Northwest is genetically modified. More than 90 percent of U.S. apples exported to India are of the Red Delicious variety. There are no genetically modified Red Delicious apples in existence. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved two GM apple events available under the trade name of Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny. These apples belong to one company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, that maintains strict control of its limited production. The apples are in processed form (not whole apples) and are not exported.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact the Northwest Horticultural Council vice president for scientific affairs, David Epstein, or Fred Scarlett, vice president for export programs at 509-453-3193.