Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Brain Mushimba has urged the National Bio-safety Authority (NBA) to enhance its operations and raise public awareness as it ensures the safety of humans, animals and the environment.
Dr Mushimba commended the Authority and encouraged staff to continue working hard as they execute the Authority’s mandate in the country.
He said this during his familiarization tour and meeting with NBA staff,
The Higher Education Minister said NBA regulates the research, development, application, importation, export, transit, contained use, release or placing on the market of any Genetically modified foods(GMO/LMO).
He added that the NBA also ensures that any activity involving the use or a product of GMO prevents any socio-economic impact or harm to human, animal health and the environment in the country.
He said the perception out there in society was that GMOs were banned by late president Levy Mwanawasa and there are no GMOs in Zambia.
“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 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.
Dr Mushimba said the Ministry of Higher Education will to come up with a road map on the review of the Bio-technology and Bio-safety policy and subsequent regulations in the country.
And NBA Registrar, Mr. Luckson has appealed to government to ensure that the many challenges facing the institution among them , delayed funding , transport and human resource are addressed.