Zambia’s GMO detecting lab near completion

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The $450,000 laboratory for detecting Genefied Modified Mechanisms (GMOs) in Zambia is near completion at the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Lusaka.

SCCI Deputy Director Fransico Miti says the laboratory situated in Chilanga area is expected to start operating early next month (August).

Mr. Miti told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that the multi-dollar equipment for the laboratory is already in the country.

Mr. Miti, who is Chief Seeds Officer says the institution has already trained four staff who will be supervised by a Resident Technical Assistant in the laboratory.

He disclosed that Zambia obtained a grant from the World Bank for the construction of a multi-dollar infrastructure laboratory.

He stated with the construction of the laboratory that the country will be able to detect GMOs locally unlike the current trend where tests are conducted outside the country.

Zambia does not have a special GMO detector equipment and currently seeds samples to South Africa to detect the GMO content mainly from food stuffs.

“Zambia will now start detecting GMOs locally when the laboratory is finished in August, 2009 as you as aware the country did not have any,” he said.

He stated that the institute will be fully fledged after training as the Zambian’s will acquire knowledgeable skills to run, operate and detect GMOs locally.

Meanwhile, SCCI will now start implementing plant bleeder’s rights this year following the amended law by the Ministry of Justice.

This means small scale farmers in the country will now be able to develop and sell more varieties of their choice.

Mr. Miti explained that the variety can be achieved by under-going a seed multiplication process between the male seed and the female.

He said crop variety ranging from beans, groundnuts and maize are multiplied to enhance increased crop production and hecterage.

ZANIS

11 COMMENTS

  1. vote

    I wonder if every seed in the country will be going through this lab before being planted or before being consumed. Did you know for instance that 99% of processesd foods contain at least an ingredient that is potentially genetically modified? With the influx of cross border food stuffs illegally into Zed, just how are they going to discriminate? Any body versed in this topic please shed some light.

  2. vote

    Congratulations Zambia. You have some smart people in government – you have silenced the critics. Not only will this provide food security for Africa but countries around the world will be paying large sums for Zambia to test their food supplies.
    But Zambia can’t stop there. It must open the world leading university of food security to mass manufacture world experts in food security, analysis, food testing technology design & manufacture. Sealing it’s competitive advantage with a new service export stream.

  3. vote

    I also need some answer concerning GMO. isn’t nkuku za loni (NOT village chicken) a GMO?? These chickend get ready in 6 weeks only. Thus why ngati nikudya, nikudyela pamozi na bonzo. The same goes with ZAMBEEF beef, the oxy mature for slaughtering in 4 months, doesn’t this make them GMO? . ma guys bo paunda please educate us

  4. vote

    #5, Ghostrider IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT YOU ARE ADDICTED TO HATRED. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO A COUNTRY WHERE THE LEADING NEWSPAPER IS AN EVIL TABLOID WRITTEN BY AN WRITTEN BY AN EVIL MAN. EVERY ONE ULTIMATELY BEGINS TO THINK OF HATRED AS NORMAL

  5. vote

    On “He stated with the construction of the laboratory that the country will be able to detect GMOs locally unlike the current trend where tests are conducted outside the country. Zambia does not have a special GMO detector equipment and currently seeds samples to South Africa to detect the GMO content mainly from food stuffs.“, this is good as we Zambians have wasted too much money by doing everything in South Africa.

    I hope this trend will also reach the health sector so we get healing home.

    Enjoy all.
    _
    Deut 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear…

  6. vote

    I beg to differ with this action of spending all that money on a GMO testing facility. This matter has been heavily politicized and that is why such actions are being taken. The fact is we have been consuming GMO foods for a while now and they are quite safe. That money could have been used for other productive activities such as the fight against HIV which is a real danger to the community.
    I can happily live on GMOs if necessary. I think people have not been adequately informed about GMOs and wether we like it or not they are part of the global landscape. They were mistakes in introduction of GMOs in Europe and Asia but the risk had nothing to do with danger to humanity. It had more to do with the fact that indigenous crops could not compete and the companies that (contd in next sect)

  7. vote

    …..produced these crops had the copyrights and were not allowing farmers to replant the seeds but buy seeds from them. In India farmers were bankrupted after buying these seeds which promised big results but delivered little.
    The GMO crops have benefits such as high yields and are resistant to pesticides.
    I think public awareness about this issue has been insufficient and this effort on the testing facility a waste of money.
    We need to learn how to manage new technologies well and it this case fear-mongering by some parties is largely responsible for the course that we are taking. The price tag looks suspicious to me. I think that sort of money is a high price to pay for the required results. Were all options of identifying GMOs considered?

  8. vote

    It is not true that Zambia has no lab to detect GMO’s. There is a National Biotechnology Laboratory in Chilanga under National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research which was commissioned by the late President on April 27, 2007. The lab has modern equipment and qualified staff for detecting GMO’s. The Lab has been testing seeds from various Seed Companies. In short, there is already capacity in Zambia to detect GMO’s

  9. vote

    No 2 I diasgree that this facility will ensure food security. In fact, some scientists and agronomists argue that GMO hold the key to food security not scaling down but up scaling. For example the United States grown more corn/maize than all of Africa, most of which is GMO, resists pests and uses less fertilizing. Perhaps we need to think through what we are doing.

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