No GMO's For Zimbabweans,Even In Drought

 No GMO's For Zimbabweans,Even In Drought
Published: 2016 May 21 05:55:00 (1357 Views)

Govt Still Stern On GMO's



Government tests all imported foodstuffs for genetically modified organisms, a senior official has said. Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said Government did not allow production of GMOs and also tested all the foods imported to ascertain if they contained GMO material.

He was responding to questions from legislators on why mealie meal deemed unsuitable for children was available on the market. 

Made said he was not aware of the issue but said age restrictions did not necessarily mean the food was GMO.

He said there could be other reasons why the food commodities had age restrictions.

“Zimbabwe does not accept GMOs. If ever GMO is imported, it will go directly for milling because the agriculture sector does not allow production of GMOs.

“All imported products are tested at entry points to assess GM materials,” he said.

Made said a laboratory was recently commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce assisted by the French to test for GMO in all products.

“The laboratory deals with standards including food. We have a similar facility at the Tobacco Research Board and we test all materials. We will also have a laboratory in the Department of Research and Specialist Services to be under the combined supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” he said.

Made has on several occasions said Government would not allow the production of GM crops despite calls from some farmers that GMOs were cheaper to produce. Agriculture experts have suggested that the country grow GM cotton, which is high yielding but the minister insisted that cotton was important in terms of edible oil.

Local seed breeders have also come up with high-yielding varieties of seed and have advised farmers to improve an agronomic practices to increase productivity.

According to local experts, GMOs are not the answer to low productivity. There are fears GMOs will destroy local small farmers and seed varieties and make everyone dependent on multinational corporations for fertiliser and seed. GMOs have also been blamed for the rise in various ailements, including cancer.

Global resistance to GMOs is also growing at an exponential rate.

Last year, 19 European countries joined an already long list of nations to completely ban, or have severe restrictions on GMOs — as well as the pesticides that go with them.



- Herald
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