Transport Minister Brian Mushimba
Minister of Higher Education Dr Brain Mushimba

Minister of Higher Education Dr Brain Mushimba has said that there is nothing today that is not modified in one way or another. Speaking during the tour of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), Dr Mushimba said that even drought-resistant crops have been modified conventionally to increase productivity in an effort to feed the world population, of about 7 billion people

“The perception out there is that GMOs were banned by Late President Levy Mwanawasa and there are no GMOs in Zambia. I have struggled to understand that line of thinking because today there is nothing that is not modified in one way or another. Even the drought-resistant crops have been modified conventionally to increase productivity in an effort to feed the world population, of about 7 billion people,” he said.

Dr Brain Mushimba urged the National Biosafety Authority to enhance its public awareness and operations as it ensures the safety of the humans, animals and the environment.

The NBA regulates the research, development, application, importation, export, transit, contained use, release or placing on the market of any GMO/LMO whether intended for use as a pharmaceutical, food, feed or processing, or a product of a GMO.

The Authority also ensures that any activity involving the use or a product of GMO prevents any socio-economic impact or harm to humans, animal health and the environment in the country.

Dr. Mushimba commended the Authority and encouraged the staff to continue working hard as they execute the Authority’s mandate.

Dr Mushimba pledged to support the Authority in sensitizing government officials and members of parliament on the current status of GMOs in Zambia.

“We live in an engineering world where technologies are advancing every day, therefore we cannot ignore what is happening. It’s the time we are in,” he said.

And Dr Mushimba urged the Ministry of Higher Education to come up with a roadmap on the review of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy and subsequent regulations.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mushimba assured the NBA of his support and help in improving its mobility, infrastructure development and staff recruitment.

However, he expressed happiness that the Authority had come up with modalities to collaborate with other existing agencies in ensuring compliance on all activities relating to GMOs.

Dr. Mushimba cited the memorandum of understanding which has been signed between the Authority and the Ministry of Health where personnel in the Public Health Unit are conducting inspections on behalf the Authority, thereby making the presence of the Authority at ports of entry.

In briefing, the Minister on the current status of GMOs in Zambia, NBA Registrar Mr. Lackson informed Dr. Mushimba of the challenges the institution was facing among them, delayed funding, transport and human resource.

Accompanying the Minister were Jane Chinkusu – Director of Science and Technology, Mwenya Mulenga – Assistant Director in the Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Higher Education Chief Human Resource Lewis Libinga.

This is according to a statement issued by Sandra Lombe the NBA Communications Officer.

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20 COMMENTS

    • Engineer Mushimba is by no means a biologist.
      Altering crops genetically is not one way or the other, it is serious.
      Okay can’t you have principles. Let’s feed ourselves non GMO and sell GMO grown.
      That too is a problem because the soil you want to use for GMO will be GMO acclimatised.

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  1. well that’s not necessary true
    that only applies to hybrids, as well, there’s a difference between an apple that’s altered so it can grown in a green house on say a tomato plant than an apple altered so it can withstand the many bugs that eat them as they ripen.
    the problem with a statement like this coming from a minister is that it “exonerates” them of anything that may happen on the subject
    a responsible government would give assurance that as a country we’ll do our due diligence and make sure that the food being consumed by our citizens isn’t in any way shape or form harmful. but not these guys, they are too lazy. they are waiting for someone (muzungu) to go and carry research and tests on the foods being sold in stores

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    • Today we agree, this time this minister is way out of line, and out of jurisdiction. He should stick to trying to get Zambian Syllabuses modernized for our current generation. Let the minister of health deal with matters that will potentially affect Zambians in health and growth.

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  2. About GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs) – Finally someone is explaining the world as it is. Almost everything we live on is modified because it is a product of science. Fertilizer modifies crops by making them grow faster than the natural pace. Copper comes out of the ground in rock form. Then we use scientific methods and chemicals to extract it. We modify it from stone to metal. Those who do not understand science don’t know that their lives depend on GMO food already. All new processes or product bring new benefits and some problems. We just have to manage both scientifically so that benefits exceed side effects.

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    • Genetically modified foods present many unknown dangers for human health and the welfare of the planet. Who can possibly predict what or how GMO foods or animals will do to our agricultural sector or the human body when eaten?
      Are we equipped to protect humanity from this stupidity? Who is poised to make billions on this venture? You can wager that the bottomline is all that matters. Results from any and all tests will be modified to reflect the best image for these horrible aberrations.

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    • In most western countries foods with GMO components are severely restricted or banned from being sold in the marketplace. That “food” can’t be sold as animal feed.
      Are Africans to be the guinea pigs in this horrible experiment?

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  3. He is right and thankful we have ministers now that are educated and understand these things. Good job mushimba

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  4. Yes,and that includes human beings. Modification turns out to be a breed of commodification as a survival instinct . it’s a tragedy demanding adaptation. But it’s the commoner,mainly the poor in Africa who ultimately bears much of the brunt

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  5. Sad indeed to hear people side with him about GMO, definitely you guys need to do some research and you will prove his statement wrong. GMOs are popular in developed countries not in a poor country like ours where we fail to even deliver inputs on time. There are so many subsistence farmers who don’t modify their crops resulting in pure organic crops. Our people are active and healthy as a result of it, but now since we have become a dumping place for GMOs our people are becoming obese and unhealthy.

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  6. “The perception out there is that GMOs were banned by Late President Levy Mwanawasa and there are no GMOs in Zambia. I have struggled to understand that line of thinking because today there is nothing that is not modified in one way or another. Even the drought-resistant crops have been modified conventionally to increase productivity in an effort to feed the world population, of about 7 billion people,” he said.

    He started off well as new minister of higher education, then plowed back into his drunken stoop. GMOs are dangerous to Zambians and Africa period iwe Mushimba. I am beginning to think there are not too many Zambians that have logic as a basis of their thought. Being learned does not mean one is not devoid of wisdom as the minister here is proving with his yapping.

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  7. In most western countries anything modified with GMO’S is not permitted to be sold openly to the public.
    Are Africans to be the new guinea pigs for this horrible experiment?
    Isn’t it strange that it was Hiroshima and Nagasaki and not Dresden and Cologne?

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  8. Brain Airways. I hope the new minister of finance pumps sense into these “brains.”. The new minister of transport seems to be following blindly as Kafwaya Airways.

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  9. Brian do not utter scientific statements without any scientific research backing what you are saying. Just because you have a phD from UNZA does not make you an authority in biological matters.UNZA is ranked 55 in Africa by the way sooo I would take your literature review with a pinch of salt. Fact: cancers are increasing world over. Fact: Mortality from cancer is highest in poor countries..If you want to live a life of a developed country you better have a health infrastructure to deal with those first world diseases. When our people start getting cancer from GMO’s who will pay for the chemo? Not your eloquent words and empty promises.You couldn’t even deliver an airline!

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  10. This man has been paid by Monsanto to utter such nonsense. Artificially altering seeds is like creating a new currency. In the same way you can’t just start producing your own medicine, GMO seeds will be sold back to you with rights ownership in the hands of Monsanto and the likes. Europeans have very strict rules on GMO, why are we selling ourselves cheaply?

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  11. Okay don’t attack Brian, but just advise him that what ever he is saying should be backed by science, then that science must be promulgated into law. However even if GMOs were to be restricted in Zambia, inspections and enforcement will be very poor and prone to corruption. The inspections are very poor that some of the medicines coming into the country do not even have any medicinal value. Substandard goods are all over, including the 4.3 million dollar substandard toll gate glaring at us Zambians somewhere.

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