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BUSINESS & POLICY: Private Sector Development Association of Zambia calls for resumption of GMO debate





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TITLE:   DODIA CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF GMO DEBATE

SOURCE:  The Post, Zambia

AUTHOR:  Gift Chanda

URL:     http://www.postzambia.com/post-read_article.php?articleId=21836

DATE:    08.07.2011

SUMMARY: "Commenting on the Kenyan government?s plans to allow genetically modified food including maize into the country starting next week, Dodia, who is Private Sector Development Association chairperson, said it was time Zambia considered reviving debate on GM foods. Dodia said Zambia needed to take a concrete position on the use of the scientifically engineered organisms also known as GMOs."

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DODIA CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF GMO DEBATE

ZAMBIAN scientists should revive debate on the use of GMOs in the country, says Yusuf Dodia.

Commenting on the Kenyan government?s plans to allow genetically modified food including maize into the country starting next week, Dodia, who is Private Sector Development Association chairperson, said it was time Zambia considered reviving debate on GM foods.

Dodia said Zambia needed to take a concrete position on the use of the scientifically engineered organisms also known as GMOs.

He recalled that debate on the use of GMO products in the country was not concluded after GM maize donated by the US government in 2003 was rejected by then Republican president Levy Mwanawasa.

?The challenge we had then was that if we had to accept that American GM maize, we would have contaminated the Zambian maize industry such that maize and other agricultural products would not be open to exports to the European union,? said Dodia in an interview.

?But when we look at what is going on in Kenya, we should be reminded that since we have not settled this debate on GMOs it is high time our scientists got together and started to discuss it so that we can come up with a position as a country.?

According to media reports, the Kenyan National Bio-safety Authority said regulations which would give clear health and environmental guidelines on the GM foods to be imported would be gazetted this week.

Under the new regulations, importers could be licensed to up to 10 years provided their products have no negative effects on health or the environment.

But several members of parliament and non-governmental organisations have opposed GM foods.