Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31237
Liability Aspects Related to Genetically Modified Food under the Food Safety Legislation in India

Authors: S. K. Balashanmugam, Padmavati Manchikanti, S. R. Subramanian


The question of legal liability over injury arising out of the import and the introduction of GM food emerges as a crucial issue confronting to promote GM food and its derivatives. There is a greater possibility of commercialized GM food from the exporting country to enter importing country where status of approval shall not be same. This necessitates the importance of fixing a liability mechanism to discuss the damage, if any, occurs at the level of transboundary movement or at the market. There was a widespread consensus to develop the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and to give for a dedicated regime on liability and redress in the form of Nagoya Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on the Liability and Redress (‘N-KL Protocol’) at the international context. The national legal frameworks based on this protocol are not adequately established in the prevailing food legislations of the developing countries. The developing economy like India is willing to import GM food and its derivatives after the successful commercialization of Bt Cotton in 2002. As a party to the N-KL Protocol, it is indispensable for India to formulate a legal framework and to discuss safety, liability, and regulatory issues surrounding GM foods in conformity to the provisions of the Protocol. The liability mechanism is also important in the case where the risk assessment and risk management is still in implementing stage. Moreover, the country is facing GM infiltration issues with its neighbors Bangladesh. As a precautionary approach, there is a need to formulate rules and procedure of legal liability to discuss any kind of damage occurs at transboundary trade. In this context, the proposed work will attempt to analyze the liability regime in the existing Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 from the applicability and domestic compliance and to suggest legal and policy options for regulatory authorities.

Keywords: Food Safety, Commercialisation, Liability, India, FSSAI, genetically modified foods

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1920


[1] Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, United Nations Environment Programme, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada, 2011.
[2] Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Act No.34 of 2006, Ministry of Law and Justice, India.
[3] Reece Walters, "Eco Crime and Genetically Modified Food," 1sted.Routledge, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2011, pp. 79-104.
[4] Moonsook Park, “A Comparative Study of GMO Labeling and Liability Systems in the US, EU, and South Korea: The Circumstances and a Future Potential for Harmonization,” Digital Repository @ Maurer Law, Apr. 2014.
[5] Gurdial Singh Nijar, “The Nagoya–Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: An analysis and implementation challenges,” Int. Environ Agreements, vol.13, 2013, pp. 271–290.
[6] Kanchana Kariyawasam, “Legal Liability, Intellectual Property and Genetically Modified Crops: Their Impact on World Agriculture,” Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal Association, vol. 19-3, 2010, pp. 459- 485.
[7] Katharine E.Kohm, “Shortcomings of the Cartagena Protocol: Resolving the Liability Loophole at an International Level,” Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 27, 2009, pp.145-180.
[8] Dacian C. Dragos, BogdanaNeamtu, “A Comparative Perspective on National Policies Addressing Genetically Modified Organisms. How Does the US-European Union Debate on this Topic Affect Other Countries?” Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 2008, pp.18-42.
[9] Noah M.Sachs, “Beyond the Liability Wall: Strengthening Tort Remedies in International Environmental Law,” UR Scholarship Repository, 2008.
[10] Philippe Cullet,"Domestic Policy Options: International Trends in Liability and Redress," Asian Biotechnology and Development Review, vol. 9, 2007, pp.1-18.
[11] Anastasia Telesetsky, “Introductory Note to the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress,” 2011.
[12] Wen Xiang, “International Liability and Redress for Genetically Modified Organisms and Challenge for China’s Biosafety Regulation”.
[13] Text of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety came into existence in the year 2003.
[14] Text of Nagoya Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress adopted and came into existence in 15th October 2010.
[15] United Nations World Health Organisation established in the year 1948, Health Topics available at