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What is the situation in Zimbabwe with regards to GMOs?

Zimbabwe has not yet reached the commercial stage of GMOs. Therefore no GMOs have been released into the environment or the market. GMOs are still confined to laboratories, greenhouses and contained field trials. However due to inadequate foods stocks, the country had to accept donated GM foods. This decision was arrived at after realizing that there are no known adverse effects of GM foods on human health. The bulk of the donations received up to today are mainly in kind from GM producing countries. Measures have however been taken to prevent the planting of GM products by ensuring that donated maize grain is milled under supervision before being distributed to recipients. The donors have also been asked to label the modified food, to allow for informed consumer choice.

  • GM Testing Laboratory

    The NBA’s GMO Testing Laboratory was officially opened by the senior government official from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, on 13 September 2017.

    Resources for setting up the laboratory were provided by the Government of Zimbabwe and the European Union. The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development and NBA renovated an already existing super structure into a laboratory. Whereas, the European Union supplied equipment worth US$90, 434.18. 

    The NBA will use this laboratory as a facility for GMO detection, quantification, identification, monitoring and surveillance. The laboratory contributes greatly towards development of the National Biosafety Framework. This Biosafety level 1 laboratory is an initial step towards the development of a National Biosafety Reference Laboratory. It shall be upgraded so that it has biosafety levels 2 -4. This will enable NBA to safely analyse and handle high risk category organisms like Ebola and HIV.

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