The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has granted three distributors new permits to import products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The three applicants are Cold Chain, Horizon and Innscor who were among 12 retailers, wholesalers and Distributors that applied for new and renewal permits.
NBA Chief Executive officer, Lackson Tonga says the decision was arrived at after a risk assessment was conducted by the scientific advisory committee.
Mr. Tonga told Journalists at a media briefing in Lusaka today that the committee recommended to the board for permits and that the various products are SAFE for human, animal and the environment.
He explained that of the permits granted, a named distributor will ONLY import about 80 percent of the products that they initially applied for, while the other 20 percent have been rejected.
Mr. Tonga said this is because they may contain genetically modified SOYABEAN product, which is believed to have been made through newly developed technologies which are NOT covered by the Biosafety Act.
He said the Authority has continued its spot and compliance checks and during the operations one distributor and four retailers have been asked to remove all the Genetically modified products from the shelves.
But in a statement to ZNBC News, Zambia National Farmers Union -ZNFU- President Jervis Zimba said the Union will not subscribe to GMOs and rejects the process that seeks to bring into the country Genetically Modified Foods on the market.
Mr. Zimba said the agriculture sector will be hurt the most if GMOs are allowed and will affect farmers worst affected.
He said ZNFU will fight and thwart all efforts bent on legitimizing GMOs.