The National Biosafety Authority has destroyed various food products and feed containing Genetically Modified Organisms which were seized last month from Food Lovers, Game Stores and Spar.
The products were seized for not having been subjected to risk assessment after which permits for import or placing on the market are issued by the Authority once such products are found to be safe for consumption.
The Authority pounced on the unsuspecting chain supermarkets at East Park, Arcades and Manda Hill Shopping malls in February for selling products containing genetically modified organisms which have not been assessed for their safety as food or feed, thereby contravening provisions of the Biosafety Act No 10 of 2007.
Under the regulation of activities relating to genetically modified organisms of the Section 10 Sub-section 1 of the Biosafety Act clearly states that “A person shall not research on, develop, produce, import, export, transit, carry out any contained use, release or place on the market any genetically modified organism or any product of a genetically modified organism or deal in any manner with any genetically modified organism or a product of a genetically modified organism without the prior approval of the Authority.”
The products which were destroyed in the presence of Zambia Police officers, and Store representatives include biscuits, chips, soups, spices, soya pieces, cornflakes and assorted crackers, whilst feed included dog and cat food.
The Authority has continued its surveillance, spot and compliance checks also seized some food products from Food Lovers Levy Mall.
“Surveillance, compliance and spot checks are ongoing. We are happy that some chain stores are complying, with a good example being Cheers who were was found to be in good books at the time of the spot visit. They had all the permits from their distributors.”
The NBA has been inspecting laboratories and research facilities with activities involving gene technology in Lusaka Province and these have been found to be complying in terms of biosafety standards with a few non-conformances.
“One laboratory which was found with non- conformances was asked to take corrective measures in order to be compliant.”
This is contained in a statement issued by NBA Communications Officer Sandra Lombe.