INTERNATIONAL – Zambia's regulator of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on Monday announced that it has allowed some companies to import products containing GMOs despite resistance from some stakeholders.
Paul Zambezi, chairperson of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) said four firms have been granted permits to import products containing GMOs. The decision was made following a risk assessment by a scientific advisory committee, which found the products safe for human consumption, Zambezi said.
"As the NBA, we would like to reiterate that food safety is very important, and we cannot allow any food or feed which is not safe for human consumption or for use as animal feed to be on the market," he said in a release.
The regulator, he said, was currently reviewing other applications, which were at various stages, adding that 45 permits have been granted since 2016 to place products containing GMOs on the market.
Zambian banned GMOs in 2002, with late President Levy Mwanawasa describing them as "poison." Mwanawasa later rejected GMO maize donated by the US government at the height of a food shortage caused by drought.