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6-Regulation: SADC calls for harmonised legislation on biotechnology



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TITLE:  SADC calls for harmonised legislation on Biotechnology
SOURCE: Zambian News Agency
        http://www.zana.gov.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=5&id=1043158310
DATE:   Jan 21, 2003

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   "Dr Fleuret is quoted as having said that the objective of the [USAID] 
    mission was not to influence SADC to take a stance on Genetically
    Modified Organisms (GMO), but to help the region in its debate."
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SADC calls for harmonised legislation on Biotechnology

LUSAKA - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for
the enactment of harmonised legislation with regard to the issue of
Biotechnology in the region.

A statement released by the SADC Secretariat to ZANA stated that in order
to establish this common position, SADC is in the process of establishing
an Advisory Committee on Biotechnology.

And a 17 member delegation from the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) last weekend left on a two week fact finding mission on
biotechnology and its effects on food security in the region.

According to the statement, the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) funded mission will take the delegation to the United
States, Belgium and South Africa.

The statement said that USAID regional centre for Southern Africa
Director Dr Patrick Fleuret revealed that the fact finding mission had
been arranged in the context of the food crisis currently being
experienced in six Southern African countries.

Dr Fleuret is quoted as having said that the objective of the mission was
not to influence SADC to take a stance on Genetically Modified Organisms
(GMO), but to help the region in its debate.

The mission comes against a backdrop of on going debates about the status
of biotechnology for international development and its implications on
food security.

According to the SADC Secretariat, the region currently has no harmonised
position on bio-technologies and how to handle GMOs.

"As a result of this there are operational problems in handling issues of
GMOs including the movement of food items." The statement read in part.