19 commodities are to be covered by the new labelling rule

India might not have started growing genetically modified (GM) food crops, but it does import food products that contain GM ingredients. Consumers who buy them have no way of knowing what they contain. Recently, the department of consumer affairs, under the Union food and consumer affairs ministry, decided to take a corrective measure to help consumers make an informed choice. It mandated that all packaged food products containing GM ingredients should carry a GM label from January 1, 2013.

After much debate, the Cabinet cleared the food security bill. Will it really ensure food for every Indian? The bill seeks to address widespread hunger in the country through food support programmes and provides eligible beneficiaries the legal right to receive foodgrains at subsidised prices.

Environment ministry clears hydro project rejected twice by its advisory committee. The union environment ministry has given in-principle clearance to a proposed hydro-project on the Alaknanda river, a tributary of the Ganga, in Uttarakhand. The 300 MW project had been rejected twice by the statutory body which recommends forest clearances, the forest advisory committee (FAC). FAC says the project lies in the buffer zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR), a home to many endangered species.

Biotech firms object to states getting a say in approving GM crop trials.

The state links the PDS system with controversial unique identity project to plug leakages in food supply. But loopholes remain, Latha Jishnu and Jyotika Sood report in Down To Earth.

Draft land bill proposes higher compensation for land acquisitions, but complaints persist.

A farmer was killed and about 30 were injured on August 2 when police lathicharged farmers opposing land acquisition by the state for a power project in Punjab’s Mansa district. Private company Indiabulls Power Limited is planning to set up a 1,320 MW thermal power project on 357 hectares (ha) belonging to four villages.




Multinational seed companies are luring farmers to grow hybrid maize with promises of high yields and high returns. The cereal is overtaking farms growing millets and other staples. Is it a threat to India’s food security? Read this report in Down To Earth.

Uttar Pradesh's land acquisition has set farmers on the warpath. Projects like Yamuna Expressway will engulf thousands of villages. Down to Earth probes discontent among farmers & examines amendments to Land Acquisition Act & resettlement bill awaiting Centre’s nod.

Centre approves field trials of 14 GM crops. But some states refuse trials, saying safety regulations are too lax. With politicians joining activists, the issue is likely to take a politically volatile turn. This special report in DTE uncovers the mess in GM crops.