The Livingstone City Council yesterday swung into action seizing and destroying cereals from Shoprite Supermarket containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Livingstone City Council Chief Health Inspector Muchoka Muchoka said Bokomo Cornflakes, popcorns and Jungle Oats were among the cereals seized and destroyed from the two Shoprite outlets in the tourist capital.
Mr. Muchoka said the quantities destroyed were 496 packets of 500 grams Bokomo cornflakes, 208 packets of 750 grams of the breakfast cereal, four packets of the one kilogram Bokomo cornflakes and 141 packets of the 375 grams cereal.
The Chief Health Inspector confirmed the development to ZANIS in Livingstone today stating that despite Bokomo being a South African brand, the cereal seized in the exercise was manufactured in Lusaka.
Mr. Muchoka said after seizing the goods, the local authority sought guidance from the Bio Safety Authority which in turn authorized them to destroy the goods at the expense of Shoprite.
“We sought guidance from the Bio Safety Authority after seizing the goods from the Shoprite outlets. The Authority gave us clearance to destroy the goods at the expense of Shoprite and we did so in the company of police and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency,” he said.
He said the Loss Control Manager from Shoprite was yet to inform the local authority on the value of the destroyed goods.
Mr. Muchoka said the action by the council was in accordance with the Bio Safety Act of 2007 which prohibits the exposure for sale of any food containing GMOs above the legally authorized threshold of 0.9 percent.
He however, assured Livingstone residents that health inspectors checked other supermarkets in the city and found no trace of cereals containing illegal quantities of Genetically Modified Organisms.
And Livingstone City Council Public Relations Officer Harriet Chimuka urged shop owners to engage the local authority’s health department whenever they discovered that some of their products had harmful substances.
Ms Chimuka commended health inspectors for being alert and taking quick action by seizing and destroying the harmful cereal.
She reiterated the council’s commitment to undertake routine inspections to identify harmful products in a bid to protect unsuspecting consumers.