The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has granted four companies new permits to import products that may contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

NBA Chairperson Dr. Paul Zambezi explained that the permits have been granted to Gatbro Distributors, Pick n Pay, Southern National Import and Export Limited and Choppies Super Stores market.

Dr Zambezi said this follows a Board decision at the just ended Board meeting held on 5th July 2019 in Lusaka.

In May 2019, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the NBA recommended to the Board the issuance of permits after risk assessment was conducted on the products that may contain GMOs and were found to be safe for human consumption.

Among the products which Gatbro intends to import include Bokomo Otees, Bokomo Pro- nutro, Instant porridge, Bokomo cornflakes, Bisto and Knor soups.

While Pick N Pay will bring in 72 different varieties of food and feed and these include brands of Bobtail dog feed; (medium, large, steak, Feline cuisine- adult chicken flavours) and No Name Popped rice, Knorr soups, Ace instant porridge, Kellogs cornflakes, Imana Soya and Imana gravy roast chicken flavor.

Others are Top Class soup, Simba Doritos, Bakers snack time, Cheese and some other PnP branded products which may contain GMOs.

Southern National Import and Export limited will import various pre mixes including bread mix, soft roll mix and Bakels 15% soft mix among others and Choppies will import various flavours of Ace porridge.

“As the NBA we would like to reiterate that food safety is very important and we cannot allow any food or feed which is not safe for human consumption nor for use as animal feed to be on the market. As such products which have been allowed to be on the Zambian market by the NBA have been established to be safe for consumers,” Dr. Zambezi said.

The NBA is currently reviewing other permit applications which are at various stages.

Since the beginning of this year the Authority has renewed six permits to place on the market products which may contain GMOs.

“The six are for; Cold Chain, Zambian Brands, Comox Trading Limited, Horizon Distributors and Innscor Distributors. To ensure compliance permits to sell products that may contain GMOs are valid for six months.”

Meanwhile, the NBA has granted 45 permits for import and placing on the market and these are three research permits, registered five Institutional Biosafety Committee, and issued four Non- GM clearance certificates for export from 2016 to date.

Dr. Zambezi highlighted some of the successes scored during the tenure of office, expressing delight with the Authority for further building capacity in risk assessment enhancing regulation and decision making.

“During our term of office, which comes to an end this year, the NBA also initiated the process for the review of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy, developed the Inspectors manual and draft guidelines on Contained Use and Confined Field Trials, rolled out inspections and appointed External Inspectors,” he said.

The Board Chairperson also noted that the Authority had increased public awareness, education and sensitization programmes, engaged various stakeholders including government officials, Parliamentarians, media and the general public on its mandate, functions and operations.

In another development, NBA Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lackson Tonga observed that there was considerable positive response from the distributors and traders as regards to compliance levels with respect to provisions of the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007.

“This can be seen in the willingness by the distributors and traders to renew permits and also in the increase in permit applications by relevant clients that we continue to receive,” he said.

This is contained in a statement by National Biosafety Authority Communications Officer Sandra Lombe.

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25 COMMENTS

    • Profits over safety!!!!

      Previous governments have resisted allowing GMO farming and I believe even products were banned.

      Now I am hearing these products are on Zambian supermarket shelves. Really?

      Given a choice between Zodwa and GMO foods, I will pick Zodwa everyday (or rather every night).

      This manure we voted for is killing Zambia.

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    • ECL – please stop this nonsense of contaminating indigenous Zambian healthier foods. Think about tomorrow Mr President.

      God bless Zambia.

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  1. This so called NBA has obviously no purpose nor vision for Zambians and they can’t be trusted.

    Don’t they know that Zambian food is far much better and healthier than GMO foods? If they are not promoting locally produced foods they are only serving foreign interests and don’t deserve any authority to grant import permits.

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    • Zambians should start consuming what they themselves produce.

      With imports from China, for example, we do not know the ingredients. Not even the Chinese know themselves.

      Zambia is changing yes, but this is not the change KK or my grand fathers wanted.

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    • Imagine sure.

      How Zambians tolerate Lungu and his groupies, I do not know.

      If one peels enough layers off this mess, you will find that someone has been bribed to accept GMO products.

      There are no bounds to greed by some people.

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    • Don’t be surprised if majority of those companies are Chink companies …they will flood the market with GMO tomatoes that don’t go bad hence killing off local produce; you wonder where ZNFU is in this situation!!

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    • we need our foreign exchange to import machinery which can help us process our rich different raw materials into finished goods ,chinshi chashupa na digrees mulepoka kasuba konse ngamwapelelwa muletwipusha ko twamwafwako ukutontpnkanya ukuchila ukuti muleipaya abenaZambia na Gmos

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    • No.

      This is what happens when government is corrupt, and full of thieves.

      They will steal everything, including the once-upon-a-time white toilet brush, which is now dark brown.

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    • There was a video circulating on social media of a former MMD Agriculture Minister who was worried that native crops soon disappear ..

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  2. Instead of granting import permits for these GMOs , the corrupt thief lungu should be directing his ministers to work out mechanisms of helping local profucers produce those goods locally …..like cornflakes ,

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    • GMO is not labelled its coded with numbers but people like you wouldn’t tell the difference anyway as its cheaper.

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    • Coding that starts with 8 is GMO

      But that’s not good enough.

      Label the foof GMO so that we take informed decision NOT secret codes

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  3. Could someone please tell me what our opposition MPs are doing? They are supposed to be protesting this at every turn. Oh! let me guess, they are funded by foreign entities. Zambia rise up now.

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  4. This is nosense.

    The NBA staff must all be fired. Mr president Sir, don’t allow these permits to br implemented. Don’t be a rubber stamp Mr . president be able to think on ur own.

    GMO’s are slow killers the spirit if the late Mr. Mwanawasa will squeeze you should u allow this nosense Mr. President.

    If u love ur people ba president don’t allow this rubbish to be approved pls intervene

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