GENET archive


6-Regulation: Biotechnology Authority Bill gazetted in Zimbabwe

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TITLE:  Biotechnology Authority Bill gazetted
SOURCE: The Herlad, Zimbabwe
DATE:   20 Feb 2006

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Biotechnology Authority Bill gazetted

GOVERNMENT has gazetted the National Biotechnology Authority Bill which
seeks to establish a statutory body responsible for managing the import,
research, development, production and use of all biotechnology techniques
in Zimbabwe.

The proposed law, which was published in the Government Gazette last
week, also seeks to ensure that biotech activities do not come with
adverse effects on health, the environment, the economy, national
security and social norms and values.

Under the Bill, a National Biotechnology Fund would be established to
promote the marketing and production of transgenics in addition to
stimulating demand for research into modern biotechnology.

The fund would consist mainly of levies, which would be collected in
terms of the proposed legislation, and of parliamentary appropriations.
The Bill provides for the imposition of levies and the Minister of
Science and Technology Development, for the benefit of the fund, would be
empowered to impose levies on producers, processors or buyers of any
product of biotechnology.

Under the Bill, failure to pay a levy would be an offence and outstanding
levies would be debts to the fund, which would attract an interest or a
surcharge and may be sued for in court.

The minister would be granted additional powers regarding the imposition
or increase of a levy for a period of six months, and the manner in which
that must be done in the case of an emergency in the biotechnology industry.


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