Guidelines for Evaluation of Nano-based Agri-input and food products released

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07 July 2020, New Delhi: Guidelines for Evaluation of Nano-based Agri-input and food products in India’ were released today over a video by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences and Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister.

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Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Nanobiotechnology has the potential to improve agricultural systems through increase in plant productivity and better crop protection for meeting the changing needs and requirement of providing food to the growing population”.

He said, “Compared to bulk form of chemical inputs in crops, use of nano-nutrients can reduce nutrient run-off into ground and surface water and thus can reduce environmental pollution.”

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The present guidelines apply to nano-agri-input products (NAIPs) and nano-agri products (NAPs). These guidelines also apply to nano composites and sensors made from NMs and those that require direct contact with crops, food and feed for data acquisitions. These guidelines do not apply to the conventional products or formulations with incidental presence of natural NMs.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “These guidelines are aimed at assisting in making policy decisions by providing information on the existing regulations for nano-based products in agriculture and food and also to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of the targeted products”.

Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar, highlighted that “The formulation of these ‘Guidelines’ is one of the most important steps for delineating quality, safety and efficacy assessment of the novel nano-formulations which can be commercialized here”. He said, “These guidelines are also intended to provide transparent, consistent and predictable regulatory pathways for nano-based agri-input and food products in India”.

The guidelines are compiled with an aim of evaluation of agri-input and food preparations containing nanomaterial(s) imparting significant advantages over the existing active agri-input and food ingredients. The guidelines will also help in evaluating altered beneficial properties, dimensions or phenomenon associated with the application of nanotechnology that is intended to be used in agriculture, food and allied sectors for crop production, protection, management, harvesting, post-harvesting, food/ feed and packaging.

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