Zambia National Biosafety Authority seizes products alleged to contain GMO

ZAMBIA – The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) of Zambia has seized products that are alleged to contain genetically modified organism (GMOs) from Game stores and Spar supermarket in Lusaka worthy over K 80,000 which were being sold without a permit from the Authority. NBA was established by the Biosafety Act No. 2 of 2009 to exercise general supervision and control over the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Authority took note of the products during its spot and compliance checks. NBA Communications Officer Sandra Lombe has disclosed to the Zambian…

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New initiative launches to increase understanding of genetically engineered foods

USA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have launched a new initiative to help consumers better understand foods created through genetic engineering. The new initiative, dubbed “Feed Your Mind” seeks to provide information on genetic engineering foods, commonly called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as well as address consumer health and safety concerns arising from the use of these foods. FDA explains that the initiative will answer the most common questions that consumers…

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Zambian regulator calls for proper labeling of GMO ingredients on products

ZAMBIA – The National Biosafety Authority of Zambia has called on butcheries using spices which may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to clearly label their products so that consumers make informed decisions. The Authority has also directed bakery owners using ingredients made from or which may contain genetically modified organisms to like-wise label them as failure to do so will result in the Authority enforcing provisions of the Biosafety Act reports Newsday. NBA Chief Executive Officer Lackson Tonga stated,  “It is a requirement by law that all products which are…

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Nigerian government approves commercial production of Bt yam seedlings

NIGERIA-National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Nigeria has been given approval by the Federal Government to produce 100 million diseases-resistant yam seedlings to be distributed to the farmers in the country. Acting Director-General, NABDA, Prof. Alex Akpa, noted that the production of such high yielding yam seedlings was part of his agency’s intervention towards achieving the government food security objectives. This following its recent approval of release of Bt cowpea and commercialization of Bt cotton. Cowpea is the first GM food crop to be approved for open cultivation in Nigeria…

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Biotech crops presenting a solution to nutrition and climate change challenges; ISAAA report

JAPAN – Countries across the world have progressively embraced the utilisation of biotech crops, with this year marking 23 solid years of continuous biotech crop adoption. According to a recent report released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a total of 70 countries adopted biotech crops through cultivation and importation in 2018. In the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2018 report, ISAAA revealed that twenty-six countries planted 191.7 million hectares of biotech crops, which added 1.9 million hectares to the record of plantings in…

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DSM and Avril join forces to develop plant-based proteins

NETHERLANDS – Global health and nutrition company, Royal DSM has partnered with the French agro-industrial group, Avril to meet growing consumer demand for plant-based proteins. The companies will collaboratively produce a new protein based on non-genetically modified canola. The product will find application including in meat and dairy alternatives, beverages, baked products, bars and ready-to-mix foods with an objective to promote excellent functional properties, a high nutrition value and a balanced taste profile. The partners will also develop a state-of-the-art industrial production facility fully dedicated to canola proteins at Avril’s…

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Mozambique embarks on study to explore the potential of genetically modified maize

MOZAMBIQUE – The Mozambique Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM) has carried out a study on the genetically modified (GM) maize as it seeks to explore the potential of the biotechnology in enhancing food security. According to a study carried out by the Institute, maize production could increase by up to 50 per cent with the use of genetically modified seeds, reports Mozambique News Agency. Pedro Fato, the IIAM’s lead researcher on the stud, says that the use of genetically modified seeds can lead to greater tolerance to dry conditions, and…

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USDA investigates genetically engineered wheat spotted in Washington

USA – the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said that it has discovered genetically engineered (GE) wheat plants growing in an unplanted agricultural field in the U.S. state of Washington. According to the agency, there is no evidence that GE wheat has entered the food supply and investigations are underway to establish any relevant information about the crop. The wheat is resistant to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide commonly referred to as Roundup. With social and market issues concerning genetically…

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Nigeria’s approval of GMO crops boosts Africa’s hopes for the technology

NIGERIA– Nigeria’s decision to approve the introduction of genetically modified (GM) cowpea and cotton has boosted hopes for the technology across Africa. Farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector express confidence that their nations will soon follow in the footsteps of the continent’s most populous country to help ensure food security. “Lessons should be taken from what Nigeria has done. If they have embraced GMOs, then why will we say we are not accepting it? What Nigeria has done is inspiring us all,” Davies Korboe, the 2009 national best…

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Nigerian Legislators back country’s biosafety agency efforts in regulating GMOs

NIGERIA – Nigerian legislators have backed the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in its efforts towards regulating modern biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country. Chairman House Committee on Environment and Habitat, Obinna Chidoka, hailed the NBMA saying that it is acting in accordance with the law and pledged support from the National Assembly in its mandate, reports Crop Biotech Update. He commended the Agency for adopting modern biotechnology and being a regional leader in facilitating a strong biosafety system. Additionally, Aishatu Dukku, a member of the Committee,…

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