By Christopher Chisi
The government says it is aware that there are so many talks about Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) but that some people seem not to know that such products are allowed in the country after a risk assessment has been successfully conducted by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA).
Speaking during the official handover of the New National biosafety Authority Offices in Chilanga on (26 November 2020) Higher Education Minister Brian Mushimba who was represented by Ministry Permanent Secretary,Kayula Siame stated that it was time that people appreciated that Biotechnology is here to stay as it provides solutions to agriculture, health and the environment.
Dr Mushimba encouraged and challenged the NBA to continue with its work of regulating Gene Technology and Biosafety.
“We need to do more in sensitizing the public of what GMO mechanism are and also how they are used in the development and how they are used not only in products of foods such as maize but also in other areas which can facilitate and help our development process,” Dr Mushimba said.
The Minister said, “so we are looking forward that as we review the act and the policy, some of the things that people have had the wrong perception about, we can use those as opportunities to correct the perception of what GMO are and the role that they play in our development process. We need to remove the negative connotations that are currently attached to GMOs.”
Recently the Zambia Alliance for Agro-Ecology and Biodiversity accused the National Biosafety Authority of planning to introduce G-M-Os in the country.
Emmanuel Mutamba who is a member of the alliance said the organisation felt betrayed by the government which had constantly assured of upholding the late President Levy Mwanawasa’s legacy of saying NO to G-M-O products.
But Dr Mushimba observed that science is part of the daily lives, therefore the county must embrace it as it cannot be separated from day to day activities.
Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that the office block has been rehabilitated at the cost of one million 8 hundred Kwacha funded by the government.
Speaking at the same event immediate past Board Chairperson Paul Zambezi revealed that authority recognised the need to have their own offices because they were spending a lot of money on rentals.
5FM NEWS -06-12-20 ENDS.///