Friday, June 14, 2024

Zambia’s Biosafety Act of 2007 Prohibits GMO Imports: Mundubile Raises Concerns Over UPND Administration’s Plans

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Zambia’s leader of opposition in parliament, Brian Muntayalwa Mundubile, has voiced his concerns about the country’s government importing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from South Africa, which would be in violation of the Zambia Biosafety Act of 2007. The act prohibits the importation of GMO products into the country, except under certain conditions that include public consultations.

In an statement released to the media, Mundubile reminded the government of its duty to adhere to the law and ensure that its actions are not illegal. He also expressed concern over conflicting statements from government officials regarding the importation of mealie meal into the country.

“What should be clear to the Zambian people is that the UPND Administration is about to commit an illegality of importing Genetically Modified Organisms – GMOs into Zambia, against the law,” Mundubile said.

“The starting point should have been the UPND Administration referring to the law. We have a law, the Biosafety Act 2007, which provides for the approval process of importing GMO products into the country.”

He called on the government to follow the procedures outlined in the act and ensure that public consultations take place before any decision is made on the importation of GMO products.

“The same Act provides for a public hearing. Zambians must be given an opportunity to speak to the matter as to whether Zambia should import GMO products or transited through Zambia,” he said.

Mundubile also criticized the UPND Administration for creating a situation that could have long-term effects on the agricultural sector and urged them to act responsibly.

“The UPND Administration must come out clear. They have put us into this problem which will affect our agriculture sector in the long run,” he said.

The opposition leader emphasized the importance of the Biosafety Act of 2007, which was enacted to protect the environment, human and animal health. He noted that the act provides for a Scientific Advisory Committee to provide procedures on allowing or disallowing the importation of GMO products.

“We are totally against the importation of GMO products because they are harmful to the environment, animal and human health,” Mundubile said.

Zambians are now watching closely to see whether the government will abide by the law and public opinion on this contentious issue.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I have honestly failed to understand Hakainde’ administration. How do you sell all the good maize and start importing maize that will be a danger to society.

    Help me understand if this government is working for Zambians or against.

    Eku Kutump@ uku ukwac1ine!!

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    • Exactly my thinking. You can also factor in the exporting of power when we’re load shedding ourselves. Please make it make sense.

    • What’s wrong with this guy, HH? Doesn’t he know that GMO foods in the West is looked down upon by many, as it causes lots of sicknesses and diseases? If you go in a food store in America, Organic food (NON GMO) is priced higher than GMO food. That should tell you something. Does this guy have well informed advisers? All he needs to do is google the diseases caused by GMO foods. Unless he’s doing it deliberately, somebody please stop him from importing poison into the country. What a shame.

  2. This law is outdated and relies on demonisation of a useful scientific technology. If you have ever taken a vaccine of any kind, you have introduced genetically modified material into yowa body. So let’s stop this hypocrisy.

    And @Henry above, HH does not control smugglers. The idea to export was done in good faith and export was supposed to be controlled. Smuggling is illegal and uncontrolled.

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    • Most outdated laws when in force are what we rely on. Unless they are repealed, they remain valid. Otherwise all those involved in this GMO saga, will be promoting illegalities.

  3. The yellow maize varieties which are grown locally in Zambia are successors GMO brought into Africa in the 80’s in form of food aid . Before 1986 we had no yellow maize grown in Zambia.Only white maize.
    Even the so called “early maturing” seed we have been planting in our fields for decades is the result of Genetic modification.
    LETS NOT CHEAT OURSELVES.

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  4. This government is working with the manifesto from its captures. GMO is easy to mass produce and that’s why the likes of m0nsant0 have been actively knocking on Zambia’s door to change our maize seed to their patented GMO seed. The hospitals in America and some advanced economies in Europe are overwhelmed with patients suffering from all sorts illnesses brought about by what they consume. Protect Zambia from GMO at all costs otherwise we will be handing over our country to foreigners without a fight.

    • I’m not going to do the work for you. You are more than capable of doing it yourself if you know what to look for. The fact that you think journals or website can be used as proof says a lot about you.

    • Oh my goodness? You don’t know you can do literature review using journals and articles from the Web? Do you know Google scholar?

    • @ Katana. You’re incredibly naïve or you’ve some vested interest in it. You think a country like America that feeds its citizens with junk food, till they become obese, would care about GMO side effects? A simple research should show you the side effects and health risks caused by eating GMO food, including cancer. Wake up!

  5. Did you take cornflakes for breakfast today, or use canola oil? Do you buy or consume chips? Have ever bought seedless oranges or grapes? Well, congratulations! The chances are that you have consumed GMOs, and shut up.
    Besides who possesses the knowledge to identify GMO products in the shop? Please share with us.

  6. Comment number 2, 3 and Katana. Your facts are irrelevant here. What does the law say about importing GMOs? This is the issue, law doesn’t allow the import of the same, the government wants to import them which is illegal.
    Mind you, the Act was enacted in 2007, we haven’t imported GMOs since then.

    • True ba Chirwa but you people are busy eating GMO foods. That’s my point. Secondly, does any of us possess the knowledge to determine which foods are GMOs?

    • Piranha, by law all ingredients in whatever we eat must be labelled clearly. The reason the list of ingredients in whatever snacks we eat are listed isn’t for show,it’s by law.
      This applies for food that’s been manufactured in a factory. The stuff we buy off the streets fruits, vegetabls etc) is either locally grown or imported but without GMOs.
      The average Zambian does not need to do investigate work to find out the content of their food, the government has done the job for us, or at least they ought to.

  7. Why do they the Politicians “Honourable”…I think all Politicians should be addressed as”thieves”….because that’s who they are…all useless Pompwes..with the leaked US intelligence info…the US has now been exposed as the most corrupt country in the world

  8. All GMO foods, wherever they are, must clearly be marked as such. If there is a labeling omission, it means they are unscrupulously “concealing contents” to disadvantage consumers. We must know and chose what we want to eat. No one should tell us to each kandolo when we want to eat bomfwa. When we open a packet of maize grits, we don’t expect to find “maize samp” (though fineness or coarseness is the major difference here). The beauty of labelling handles such issues.
    If anyone in the past has made us consume the “illegal” GMO and wants to justify it in the same way for the intended importation, they must be taken to task too.

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