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 Business Times that the stores, Game stores- Manda Hill and Cosmopolitan as well as Spar Superstore which include Twin Palm, Cross Roads, Mumbwa Road and Foxdale, contravened the Biosafety Act as they were selling the products without authorization from the NBA.

Among the food products seized include Kellogs Noddles chicken flavor, Spar Woof dog food of various flavours, Savemor tea and chocolate biscuits, Kellogs Crumbs, Bisto Original, Savemor soya mince and Savemor soups (chili flavor).

“In some of the affected shops we found that they had removed some products from the shelves after being alerted by their colleagues but we managed to get them from the store rooms,” she said

Lombe added that all the products seized shall be destroyed as provided for by the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007 adding that the  Authority is disappointed that despite the stores being aware of the process and procedure on how to import and place on the market products which may contain GMO they disregarded the Act.

She said the two chain stores had started the application process but have not completed the process, hence are not allowed to bring in any products that may contain GMOs unless authorized to do so after risk assessment is conducted on the goods intended for importation and subsequent placing on the market.

The Authority has since reiterated its call on stores and traders to get products which may contain GMOs from the suppliers and distributors who have been granted permits because the products have been assessed.

“We would also like to warn all those intending to bring in products that may contain GMOs that the NBA is not sleeping. The Authority will do everything possible to ensure that the Biosafety Act is adhered to.”

‘We do not take pleasure in seizing products but we will continue doing so in the interest of the consumers and the environment. We are mandated to ensure that all products that may contain GMOs imported and placed on the market are safe,” she added.

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