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3-Food: Zambia says ban on gene-altered maize stands

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TITLE:  Zambia says ban on gene-altered maize stands
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   5 Jan 2006

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Zambia says ban on gene-altered maize stands

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia said on Thursday a ban on gene-altered maize
remained in force despite pressure from millers arguing it delayed
shipment of grains to the southern African country.

Zambia faces severe food shortages and the government declared a national
food emergency last year to attract more donor support to save people on
the brink of starvation. It says 1.7 million people need food handouts
because they are far too poor to afford commercial purchases.

"We have never gone back on the ban on GM (genetically modified) maize,"
Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana told Reuters in Lusaka. He added
that all maize being shipped in from South Africa and other destinations
had to be tested to verify it was free of genetically modified organisms

Millers had pressed the government to waive compulsory testing for GMOs
to speed up the importation of commercial and relief food. Zambia says
there is sufficient non-GM maize available in South Africa and other markets.


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