‘GMO testing not conducted locally’

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The Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) said it cannot conduct Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs) test because of lack of machinery.

SCCI Chief Seed Officer, Marble Simwanza, attributed this to lack of modern equipment as GMOs have a foreign genetic trait characteristic to be detected when conducting such a test.

Mrs. Simwanza says government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MACO), instead takes samples to South Africa where GMO tests are conducted because they cannot be done in Zambia.

Mrs. Simwanza was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today.

She, however, said other seed tests can successfully be done in the country such as seed health, analytical purity, germination capacity, moisture content, seed size and uniformity.

She said seed testing is officially conducted at the main seed testing laboratory in Chilanga while SCCI has five other seed testing satellite stations in Eastern, Western, North-western, Copperbelt and Northern Provinces.

She disclosed that private seed testing is conducted at ZAMSEED and Dunavant laboratories respectively.

Mrs. Simwanza explained that the primary function of seed testing stations is to evaluate the quality of seeds in ensuring that farmers get the best seed when they plant.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Simwanza has cautioned seed companies selling seed that they risked being de-registered if they abrogate the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) rules and regulations.

According to Mrs. Simwanza, any seed company should sign the Orange Certificate Agreement Form before exporting any seed abroad.

She said the form binds the exporting and importing country together in ensuring that all seed tests were conducted in uniformity to international standards.

ZANIS/ENDS/KC/EB.

10 COMMENTS

    • vote

      Your country! Otherwise you would not be at LT on a friday if you were not a concerned citizen of Zambia. Let us continue contributing positively. Not everything is bad about zambia. it is a beautiful country and we will always love home.

    • vote

      Brilliant Jamaco I am Zambian . I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country and for this I am eternally grateful.”
      “I tremble for my Zambia when I reflect that God is just, that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.
      I am the Unknown Soldier

      And maybe I died in vain,

      But if I were alive and my country called,

      I’d do it all over again.

  1. vote

    It means our seed and environment are already contaminated with GMOs. Brace yourself people for the worst calamities on our ecosystem in the coming years.

  2. vote

    What is happening to the labs at that National Scientific Institute fimo fimo where LPM went to offically open the GMO lab? My unerstanding is that ilya centre came into being for GMO testing. Is it another white elephant already? Or limbi bana simwanza balilakafye naaba pa centre ilya and she just wants to have facilities at her own institute as well. That is duplication and a waste of umukiboni. Learn to collaborate on some of these things. GMO testing equipment and its consumebales are very expensive.

  3. vote

    RB is just interested in GMO’s and that is way he is playing monkey tricks. I thought the chapter was closed by the late Levy and our mother Zed was surely a GMO free. Come on, Zambians, let us not be taken for a ride.

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