GENET archive


6-Regulation: Tanzania to develop GE food law

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TITLE:  Tz to Accept GMO Goods
SOURCE: New Vision, Uganda
DATE:   27 Jan 2005

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Tz to Accept GMO Goods

Tanzania is drafting laws to pave way for the introduction of
genetically-modified foods, which anti-GMO campaigners and some African
nations fear may harm people or damage local crops.

The East African country of 35 million is frequently beset by foodshortages
due to recurrent drought and crop failure.

"It is one of the breeding methods that we have to eventually adopt. We are
working on rules and regulations which will govern the introduction of
genetically modified technology into the country," agriculture minister
Charles Keenja said.

Most Europeans tend to be wary of GMO crops and foods, but growers and
consumers in the US are more accepting.

In Africa, where food shortages are frequent, some countries have banned
genetically- modified food imports, while others have turned to them
because of the potential for hardier crops.

The issue is further complicated because some food aid given in Africa can
contain GMO products.

The minister said the legislative process could take until the end of the
year, at which time Tanzania would decide what types of food it would

There are fears that the technology could bring in genetic material harmful
to Tanzanian crops, the environment or human health, Keenja said.

"We are trying to be careful so that we do not import the adverse effects of
the technology. So eventually, we know we shall have to adopt, but we want
to be careful," he said. He was speaking at a conference on how to
implement programme.

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

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