The National Bio-Safety Authority has urged producers and processors of genetically modified food products to adhere to biosafety and food safety standards.
The NBA oversees the aspect of regulating genetically modified organisms or products of GMOs such as food, feed, application and processes from the laboratory or farm to the consumer.
This also includes the import, export, and transit of GMO products. The Authority works with various partners and stakeholders to enhance this perspective.
The NBA through internationally recognized biosafety standards, codes of practice and other national guidelines and laws, supports national food safety in order to contribute to consumers’ good health and environmental protection. In addition, the NBA conducts risk assessments, an essential tool in ensuring food safety.
“The Authority is encouraging all those handling GMO food products to ensure safety for humans, animals and the environment. As we celebrate the second World Food Safety Day (WFSD) on 7th June 2020, we would like to reiterate our stance on ensuring the safety for humans, animals and the environment as it is our mandate to do so.”
The first WFSD was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 and was celebrated on 7th June 2019 under the theme “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. In this year’s commemoration of this important day, call to strengthen the commitment to scale up food safety has been made.
“As the Authority we work with various stakeholders dealing in food safety, including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture. This is because we have one common goal to ensure the safety of humans, animals, and the environment. Biosafety measures and standards must be adhered to through the whole food chain up to the consumer. Through risk assessment, NBA will always ensure that the GMO foods placed on the market are safe for human consumption.”
Meanwhile, it’s imperative to note that COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus that demands good laboratory practices with appropriate biosafety standards. Therefore, Laboratories conducting tests for COVID-19 using molecular techniques must adhere to biosafety standards and good laboratory practices as enshrined in the biosafety guidelines/standards for the National Biosafety Authority.
The Authority commends molecular laboratories such as the Virology Laboratory at University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia School of Veterinary level 3 molecular Laboratory, and the Tropical Disease Research Centre molecular laboratory for the good work done so far and for adhering to Biosafety standards.
This is contained in a statement issued to the media by NBA Communications Officer Sandra Lombe.